Reaching Santiago

I haven’t posted for a few days because I was so busy. I met up with Gerard again for the last part of our trip-wanted to walk into Santiago together. Stayed in some amazing places, but I have just realized that I didn’t take many photos. The last 100 kms was quite different. Most of it along side the road, albeit on a pathway, and there were so many bike riders roaring along and nearly knocking us over. They seem to think the trail is just for them and that we are in the way.  The locals are nowhere near as friendly and barely smile if you say hello. They must be so sick of us all.  Suburbia sprawls out a long way and the walk in to Santiago was quite boring. However, it was indeed, an emotional moment to be piped into the square.  

Les had waited a few days for Gerard to arrive, and he took this photo for us. We stayed at the Parador  Hotel as a last hoorah and went to the pilgrim mass at midday to see the botafumeiro swing and swoosh the incense over the top of us. It is an old tradition that was used originally because the pilgrims were so smelly. Spoze nothing much has changed. It was really moving and the singing was amazing. They keep the first 10 pews for pilgrims, so as long as you arrive early, you get a great seat.  We then went for a walk, got our Compostela certificates and sat on the stairs watching and listening to an opera singer busker. He was incredible (and very funny) so we stayed for ages.
After this, we went for dinner and met a lovely guy from Sydney called Dean -aprofessional photographer. Really funny guy. We were exhausted and it felt so surreal to have the walk finished. I went and picked up my suitcase that I had forwarded from the beginning, and joy of joys, I was able to put on a pair of jeans! I have lost a lot of weight and they are too big, but it was so exciting to put proper clothes back on! I packed up some of the stuff I no longer needed and gave it to a beggar outside the church. I suppose when I go back there tomorrow, I will see her wearing my clothes!

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