I woke up this morning around 7 AM feeling strong. My legs weren't tired or sore which is a good sign. Then again I did take some ibuprofen the previous night.
I began to think about reaching Santiago and many tears just rolled down my cheek. It was only yesterday that I started the journey, and I am wondering where the time went. I cannot believe I am fulfilling this. Little surreal but then again I always knew I am capable of doing it. Anyone really is - the belief must come first. I think back to the second day of walking in Roncesvalles where I had a little disbelief that I could go through with this again. But it was a lot easier.
I knew I could sleep in for longer but I just couldn't sleep anymore - body clock thingi. So I got up and went down for breakfast. It was pre-paid as part of the pilgrim package.
Not the breakfast of champions. But I was happy and hungry so I indulged in first, seconds and thirds. It was buffet. I went up back to my room for some serious blogging catch up time and in two hours with some good wifi (for uploading pictures) I was done.
While packing up my bag I pulled out all the desk drawers - and noted the Gideon's haven't invaded Spain. No Gideon Bible present.
I went to the lobby by 10 AM, took some selfies and I hit the road again for a 13 km walk to the outskirts of Santiago and a 2 km walk to the center.
Turned around to take one last look at the hotel before I head out. The grounds are spacious and beautiful.
As I walk closer to Santiago I run into albergues hosting people and interesting sculptures and art work.
I continue walking and then I see the city form the distance.
And then I lose the connecting to nature and the trees and enter civilization.
As I walk, I quickly check into an albergue away from the city center. I want a smaller quiet albergue without the noise and population and I find the perfect one that speaks to my soul.
Next stop the Cathedral. As I get closer to the city, I move from the new building structures to the old, and see the cathedral dome in the distance.
And then I get there, and pause in the awe of completion. But no tears flowing down my cheek(s). Just the knowledge and satisfaction that it is over and the next stage of walking for 2-3 days to Finisterre (also called Fisterra).
And now it is official and time to celebrate.
I tour the cathedral briefly to see the inside and most important the urn that they swing from side to side once a week for pilgrim masses.
I walk around, and starting to feel like I am catching a cold. It is windy and cold outside and I am not well insulated. The temperatures have been warm over the last few days and the sudden climate change is affecting me.
I grab a quick early dinner. And then go grocery shopping for fruits. Stock up on vitamins.
I run into Mark at the grocery store and wish him well. Hopefully I reunite with him in Finisterre. I walk back to the albergue, take a nap, wake up and enjoy the company of a beautiful Romanian hospitalera (Irina) who is funny, humorously dry and banters back with me.
Too bad I only have today in Santiago. :)
Next stop, is a 2 or 3 day walk to Finisterre and put my feet in the ocean so I can legitimately say I walked from one end of Spain to the other. VAMOS!
Expenses: 33.50 Euro
Albergue: 10 Euro
Laundry Service: 8 Euro
Dinner: 10.50 Euro
Groceries: 5 Euro