Santiago de Compestela
I just had to add this day to my blog as it is part of a good ending to my trek.
I went to bed around midnight and slept until nine this morning. I guess I really need the sleep and rest. It isn’t until you stop something that you realize how tired you are.
I went to the cathedral in the morning and got my Compostela (certificate of the completion of the Camino) and my mileage certificate.
I then went to the pilgrims mass at the cathedral at noon and sat in the side area, second row from the front. From my previous Camino experience I learned that the special incense ceremony at the end of the service is sometimes done on a rare occasions during the weekdays. Last time I was here on a Wednesday they did not have it. I went back that Friday, and as fortune would have it, it was a special Saint James celebration day and the governor of Galicia, and an archbishop, were there, and I got to see the ceremony. If you have seen the movie, “The Way,” it is at the end of the movie.
Since today was Monday I had no hope of seeing it again, but someone must of got word out to the priest, and higher ups, that Ted, and Wrong Way Ted, and finally found their way to Santiago de Compostela without getting lost or killed, the decided to celebrate. How else, by having the incense ceremony at the end of the service.
To me it is a beautiful thing to see, as it still awes me and gives me goosebumps. For me, it’s the topping on the cake, or just a great way for me to finish the Camino! I could not have planned it any better. I am blessed!
The rest of the day I spent hobbling around town being the sightseer. Without the long walk my knee has stiffened up even more.
One of the things I love is seeing the excitement on the new pilgrims faces as they are coming in. It is so obvious who the pilgrims are, not just by their clothes, but their almost glow. You see people that must have walked together at some point, call out to each other and the hung and embraces. That’s a very common sight all day long. I also noticed several people crying in their embrace, and even a few after the mass.
The Camino is a different experience for everyone, but if you come here with a positive, or even a negative one, I don’t think you can leave here without it changing your life in some positive way.
I am back at my hotel relaxing and writing my last blog. I slept well last night and I feel I could sleep another ten hours. I am enjoying Santiago and have booked the hotel until Wednesday, when I’ll fly to Barcelona, and then home Friday.
I have to go home and have my knee looked at, especially if I plan to go on my next trek to New Zealand soon.
I made it! That’s me! Camino Via de la Plata, Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela
The backside of the Cathderal
Getting ready to lift the incense pot
The first push
Right towards me