DISTANCE: 13.96 miles, 32k steps, 22.5 km.,
As I type its 6.40am. I slept brilliantly and didn’t wake up at all in the night. I feel no aches and pains and I’m set for the final stretch of this trip. Later today I will be strolling into the main plaza in front of the Cathedral in Santiago.
ED SHERAN FLAPPING DANCING COMMENCES.
7.10am – I creep out of the house with my umbrella ☂ secured to my pack and my rain jacket on. It’s pouring down and looking at the forecast it is going to be like this for the next three days. I have a choice. I can either be wet and miserable or I can embrace the situation, put a smile on my face and dance in the rain. My best mate texts me just as I was leaving and told me to put Ed Sheran on my headphones and do the Julia flappy dance… so that’s exactly what I did. Imagine the scene…,.
I’m walking alongside the N550, with my umbrella up, shoe lights on flashing mode, flapping my arms with Nordic poles attached and singing my heart out to “perfect” by Ed Sheran. I got funny looks from the lorry drivers who were splashing me with dirty rainwater, but I don’t care!
7.20am – 10 mins of 🕺 dancing 💃 in the rain and I find my first cafe. Breakfast is calling! I need my coffee!!!
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE INGLES ROUTE
10am – I’ve not seen a soul since I left two Italians on the N550. I think they continued along the main road but I can’t think of anything worse than walking along a dual carriageway all the way to Santiago. I followed the yellow arrows as the rain ☔️ stopped and the sun came out. This is most certainly the most beautiful 🌳 Forest that I’ve seen so far on the trip. The path follows a small stream with intermittent waterfalls. It’s so peaceful. The trees are peeling their skins like a snake! I never knew that trees did that! 6k to go, so time to get off this tree stump and get moving. Santiago is calling baby!
MY FIRST CHURROS
10.30am – only 4K to go and it’s time to stop for another ☕️ coffee and rest my feet. The first cafe was really busy and full of workmen in high vis vests, so I trek on for another 1k and discover a cute little bar that served me hot coffee and churros. I get chatting with two Canadian pilgrims who have been disappointed with this trail. Not just the scenery but the continuous walking on asphalt was driving them insane (their words not mine). They had also walked the French way previously and they were surprised at how different the routes were. I think they were looking forward to going home. Despite the weather, and bumping into negative people, I have a spring in my step today. With exception to the road walking this morning I’ve really enjoyed the walk.
THAT SPECIAL/SPIRITUAL MOMENT….
11.30am – I’m at a very small church ⛪ which is where I collect my last stamp. Vincent and Sonia are here and I wait for another lady called Tina from Oz so we can walk into the main plaza together. The kind man at the church encourages me to write my wish for life on a piece of paper. I hadn’t really thought much about life when I get home so it was interesting to be forced to think about my future as I sit in front of the alter with a blank bit of paper and a pen. Once I start I can’t stop and I fill both sides with my thoughts and dreams.
I MADE IT!! SANTIAGO BABY!
I wait for Tina (a lady from Oz who is walking on her own) and we make the final walk into the main Santiago plaza together (which was lovely). We can hear the bagpipes and we see the little train chugging along carrying tourists. We approach the cathedral via the side entrance (different to the French route) and the atmosphere hits us immediately. My eyes are scanning the crowds for people that I know. I spot the three Italians who were here yesterday (they must have walked fast!), and two Spanish ladies that we met along the way.
Tina and I took celebratory pictures and then headed for a cafe con Leche.
12.50pm – Tina has gone to get her Compostela and I’m sitting in the plaza opposite the cathedral just taking it all in. The bagpipes are still playing, pilgrims are crying, squealing and some just look a bit lost. The sun is out and I know I could sit here all day, but I’ve got a hostel to find and a shower to have! I stink!!
ROOTS AND BOOTS
3pm – I’ve checked in to our hostel called Roots and Boots. I’m here for three nights and enjoyed a long steaming hot shower. I then met up with Susie and friends and indulged in a few glasses of wine and duck pate. Boy was it good!
We stayed at the cafe all afternoon and had many random conversations. From Linda watching a vet with his hand up a cows 🐄 bum to sex unborn calves (we saw the video!), to eating eyeballs! I love the Camino!
“I love my life right now”