Day 8: Santiago!

Day 8.  June 14
Padron to Santiago de Compostela
16 miles / 26 km
Fitbit steps: 43,324

The last two miles into Santiago were mostly uphill, creating one final challenge for these old lady bones. I walked with a young Hungarian woman for several miles, then she pulled ahead, leaving me to go in alone. I’d hoped to do that last year but had a Korean shadow that I couldn’t shake.

There’s something special about about those first moments on the plaza in front of the cathedral and I appreciated having them to myself this time.

I arrived early enough to check into my “cell” at San Martin Pinario before the Pilgrims’ Mass at noon. As I quickly learned, some things never change: the music was lead by the same singing nun as last year, and some of the same priests appeared, still dressed to the nines in that catholic way. What was especially nice was to see the botafumeiro swing as it had last year..

As I write this I can hear the persistent clanging of a church bell–it must be about 57 o’clock by now!

Tomorrow it’s off to the Camino Frances for a few days to meet up with a high school classmate who is walking her first camino.