Today we completed our walk.
Our alarms were set for 5am and when they sounded we didn’t get up. There was a storm outside and there was a downpour. The first rain that we have seen on this trip. We reset them for 6am and even then didn’t get up. We finally packed up and left about 9:30 once it had stopped raining.
It was cooler than usual but humid. We wore pants and light jackets but even then worked up a sweat quickly. The temperatures were lower than usual but still warmed up to be pretty hot.
We watched the cairns count down the kilometres. Once we reached 6 we were disheartened to see them shoot back up to 7.5. They counted down so slowly!
We didn’t stop for tea and toast until we were in the outskirts of Santiago. Mostly because there wasn’t anything. We stopped for stamps for our credentials and continued.
We would see flashes of the cathedral on occasion and slowly it became larger and larger. Once we entered the old part of the city we knew we were close. We saw other pilgrims that we have talked with throughout the walk making their way along side us.
In some ways it seemed to take forever yet suddenly, it was there. The first time we have seen the cathedral without the scaffolding. The outside is fully restored. It is spectacular. Pilgrims and other tourists gathered before it taking pictures, smiling, cheering and hugging. It is a pretty amazing feeling. This is where all the Caminos meet. New faces all around. Bandaged, braced and limping and oh so thankful to have arrived.
We took pictures and took pictures for others. Stood before the cathedral admiring it some more and headed to collect our compostela at the pilgrims office. The line was ridiculous. We left for a quick lunch and checked into our Airbnb. I had asked when I booked if they would be kind enough to leave a bottle of white wine in the fridge as it is almost Mom’s birthday. Not only did they do that, but they decorated with balloons, a happy birthday sign, baked her a cake AND left her a present to unwrap! We ate cake, drank a glass of wine and had a well needed nap!
Once we woke up and made our way back to the pilgrims office it was 7:00. They had closed for the evening so dinner it was instead. We will head back there tomorrow first thing in the morning.
We ate just a few doors down from the pension that we stayed in last time that we were here. An amazing little Italian restaurant. We wandered through the streets a bit but we are still so exhausted that the exploring will mostly happen tomorrow. We will have the whole day to spend in Santiago. Really looking forward to that.