16 May 2018

We have arrived!

You may remember that Plan B brought us closer to Santiago so that we only had a short distance to walk this morning! The pilgrims office opens at 08:00 hrs and we expected quite a queue to be there even early in the morning.



We set off just after 07:00 hrs and once back at the top of the hill from our hotel we found the first marker which stated accurately as it turned out how far we had to walk!



It led us a short way through a wood. 





The going was easy all day even though at times we still had to go up and down hill. It’s the Camino!



And now we got our first glance at the Cathedral our final destination after so many days on the trail. Here we met two young Germans and our BBF helped take their picture with the city in the background.



Though we are slow the Germans were even slower so we left them easily behind.



It was lovely walking in the early morning with the sun slowly emerging from behind the hills.



We had high hopes this would be our last Pooh Sticks bridge, but sadly not as the water came in at an oblique angel and with too many obstructions. You need a straight flow under the bridge with no obstructions if you ever play our game. 



Then it was through the last wood where we found a sad cross for someone would had died on the Camino!



He was so young too, compared to our ancient BBF. We said a prayer for him, knowing that any pilgrim that dies on the Camino goes straight to heaven.



This completely flummoxed us! After a bit of though we chose left! 



Shortly thereafter we emerged into the city on a main road which took us all the way in. Alan was sad now as we had passed a marker which had said we had a little over 2 kilometres to go and he had not photographed it. There was not to be another! Nor was there a suitable place about one kilometre to stop and have our little ceremony! 



We decided as we walked that after getting our Compostela we would go to the place where we held it the first time, with Pat and Dan, Lisa and Leon!



The Praza do Obradorio, that is the square in front of the Cathedral was virtually empty as it was just past 09:00 hrs.



Once we recorded that we had arrived at the centre of the square where all Caminos come together we went to the pilgrims office!






This is also the street you leave by when walking on to Finisterra! 



There were many pilgrims in the queue already who had arrived yesterday. It now took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the front of the queue!



Having got our Compostela we retuned to the square to find someone to record our arrival!



And would you believe it, there we met Martha the charming South African lady who had also just arrived! As she only had one day she dashed off to the pilgrims office. We left to find our hostel!



We have a nice room with shared bathroom! Dumping our stuff we set off again!



Before we had gone very far we met a German lady in a little distress. She had just come in by bus, was hobbling badly and asked our BBF if he knew of a hostel where she could stay to recover while her friends were still out the walking. As she spoke very little English it was her lucky day meeting us. Alan walked her back to our hostel and helped her with her enquiries, and yes they could accommodate her for two days! 



We had a mission to perform so we left the damsel in distress now that she had a place to stay. On the way we came to a noisy group of people protesting about something or other!



Having reached our destination we took pictures first.



The beer was bought yesterday but the sardines were from Germany and have been carried all the way!




A passing gentleman kindly did the honours! Then our clumsy BBF had difficulties opening the beer bottle!



Not having an opener he cut himself! This did not stop him though and once the beer was opened we toasted our absent friends, ate sardines on toast and drank the beer.



While doing so sitting in the shade we observed the many pilgrims streaming into the city from the Camino Frances.

Duty done and feeling refreshed we had a bimble round the city.





The square was now full of pilgrims and other tourists.





A T-Shirt was bought for No 1 grandson and then we went to our favourite Tapas bar!




Now suitabley sated we left to return to our hostel for a siesta!



Our BBF has rewarded us for being brave companions on three Caminos with our own map showing all three routes we have been on. He says it will hang under the painting of us that Pat did. He also has given us each a St James cross. He wore one the whole time on the Camino! Happier Teddies you will not find in Christendom! Buen Camino 🐻❤️😇