17 May 2015

Ascension Mass at the Cathedral in Santiago

The Mass was such an incredible experience and finale to my Camino. There is an immense and beautiful incense vessel (thurbinger ??) that took 3 or 4 men to tend to the rope and cause it to swing in grand sweeping arcs over the worshippers and almost to the top of the volume of the Cathedral all the while spewing clouds of incense.  Amazing!!!

I swear it is to cover the human smell of us pilgrims who have not washed properly in many days!!! My shoes alone are more pungent than the incense!!

The number of each nationality of Pilgrim that arrived yesterday was announced (40 Americans) and a very warm welcome in many languages was said.

The organ music, chanting,  and choir hymns filled the Cathedral with joy. Much emotion on the part of the pilgrims around us.

Whew...drained physically and emotionally,  but in a peaceful and joyous way. Thankful for all of the love and support from my family and friends. What an amazingly beautiful experience!!

Santiago !!

I am sure it will take a while to transition from the daily routine of the Camino,  but for now I will enjoy it.  Woke up early and wandered through a still sleeping Santiago.  Empty and  peaceful streets... Fresh cool morning air.

Wandered into a coffee shop on the outskirts of the old city only to meet up with the three Spanish men that we had leapfrogged for about half of the Camino.  

We encountered some really nice souls.  While you don't get to know many people as everyone is on their own Camino,  your trajectories touch and intersect on the journey.

I am so grateful for this experience and it has changed how I see myself and what I am capable of.  Also I am certain that I will return to the Camino.

16 May 2015

Pedrouzo to Santiago

Sorry... Way to tired to write.  Long,  draining day... Physically and emotionally.  Made it all the way!!! 220 km !!!

Thank you all for your support!!!  More tomorrow after some sleep!!

15 May 2015

Arzua to Pedrouzo

Start 7h45
End 13h28
22.27 km
28,619 steps

Tomorrow we arrive in Santiago!!  There is definitely an air more festive today.  We moved from the Camino Norte to the Camino Frances.  Many more groups of pilgrims as we also joined those who walk the requisite 100km for a Compostelle and those who are followed by a tourist bus that carries their luggage to each stop.

The bar we stopped at for the 10h00 pause café (à French requirement!!) was quite the festive spot.  Pilgrims leave their unwanted burdens,  clothes,  thoughts, and general graffiti everywhere.  What an energetic spot!!

Cannot wait to arrive,  but just a touch sad to part ways with these four wonderful Françaises... Sylvie,  Marie-Hélène ,  Roselyne,  et Marie-Claude .  It was especially great to pass the last half of the Camino with them.  There have been mostly men walking with just a few women. Our group became recognizable as les françaises. Much warmth and laughter and companionship.

Many lessons learned,  a slightly different view of who I am and what I am capable of,  and many memories of the challenges,  the beauty of Spain,  and the wonderful spirit of the pilgrims.

Already I yearn to return!!