It rained quite heavily through the night, but by the time I headed off today the weather had lifted. There were only light showers through the day.
There were certainly lots of people walking. I probably saw at least 100 which means that many, many more would have arrived throughout the day.
I ran into a number of people I knew, including the Dutch couple I first met in El Pito almost 2 weeks ago.
I spotted them from behind as he wears a distinctive hat that he bought in Australia.
The striking thing about today was the number of facilities along the way. There seems to be lots of snack bars and restaurants built purposely for pilgrims.
Also there are rest spots with picnic tables and water fountains- what luxury!The camino passes through forested areas as well as villages.
Heres a tall straight eucalyptus tree.
I passed a tent with presumably someone sleeping in it, even though it was 10am.The sign said that he was robbed in Leon and I left some money. Maybe it was a con but you have to trust people.
A little later, I came across a guy selling fruit and various camino nick nacks.
I got to talking with him and he told me that he was from Columbia and had been selling souvenirs here for 8 years and in Madrid for 10 years before that.
We had quite a chat and when I left, he insisted that I take a few mandarines.He has a stamp for pilgrim credencials with a little pair of feet stuck on.
A little later I passed a small church.
I was reading a sign outside written in Italian about masses in that language for pilgrims in Santiago.A man came out and started talking to me and it was actually a few seconds before I realised that he was speaking in Italian.
It turned out that Father Pietro is a priest from northeastern Italy who volunteers to come here for a few weeks every year to help pilgrims.
I was so focused in the conversation that I totally forgot to take some photos. Aamongst other things, there was a 14th century crucifix.
I’ve no idea what this was about.
About 5kms before Santiago is a hill called Monte do Gozo or Hill of Joy in Galician. From here, pilgrims could get their first glimpse of Santiago’s Cathedral.
There’s actually a similar spot in Rome with the first view of Saint Peter’s that was called Mons Gaudi in the middle ages, the same thing in Latin.
There’s also a sad looking monument on the hill.
Shortly after, I ran into Burke and his 83 year old mum, who had by now been joined by his girlfriend.
It was very nice to be able to walk with them over the final kilometers, rather than doing it by myself.
Here’s me at the site of the Camino Gate to the old city.
Santiago is quite busy. I went straight to the pilgrim office to get a numbered ticket for the queue to get my completion certificate or Compostella, but at 3pm they had no more capacity for the day
I’ll have to go back tomorrow morning and be waiting at 8am to get a low numbered ticket for the day.
Three years ago at the same time of the year, I think it was just a 30 minute wait. In Rome, theres no queue at all to get the equivalent certificate !
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Perhaps octopus for dinner ?
I’m in Santiago for two nights. Its goi v ti be great sleeping in tbe same bed for 2 nights in a row after all this time !