Sleeping on the little mattress, of course, was not so comfortable, so it was hard to get up in the morning. I felt a little off. We packed our stuff and got on the road. I told the guys I'd walk with them for about 10 kilometers, have breakfast with them and after that I'd like to go alone.
The first village only had a hotel and a restaurant in it. Ok, I'll spoil myself a little bit. After all, it is the day we reach the Cathedral of Santiago.
I got to hug trees on my way. They were such a huge help in this journey for me when I needed to hide from sun. They spoiled my nose and was nice for my eyes to get to know.
There are many pilgrims. And for many today is the end or the beginning of a new journey.
You can see the city in the distance.
Every once in a while I get goosebumps. But there's still 4 kilometers to go till the Cathedral.
I leave memories on the wall.
When I saw the tip of the tower I got shivers all over my body.
I tear up. I'm walking and I realize that I've done 800 kilometers. With every step, every bit of pain, every droplet of sweat, every beautiful view, every new blister I got to 800 kilometers. I want a hug.
I ran into the pharmacy to get some tissues. They'll probably come in handy later.
As I entered the old town of Santiago I saw thousands of people. I had to get through this to get to the main square.
And there it is. Getting dressed up for the holy year - 2021. The church is being washed to be clean for the holy year, when there will be a lot of big events happening here. The holy year is when July 25th is Sunday.
I saw the Cathedral last November, but I was only here for an hour, just passing by. I remember only one tower to be clean back then, now both are shining.
I decided to go to the church in the evening because they're not letting anyone in with the big bags anyway. I found out where the pilgrims office is and went there. It wasn't so bad, the line wasn't so big and is moving pretty quickly.
I am almost there. 17 tables altogether that are giving out the Compostelas.
And I am greeted by an absolutely wonderful man, he was a Robin Williams look a like. Very sweet, with a kind smile. He asked me how I was doing. And he did it not to be polite but because he was genially interested. He asked me how much time did I spent in line and I replied that it wasn't so long, only about an hour. He asked me about Latvia and the employment rates there. I have to put in my occupation in the sheet and I told him I am unemployed. I decided to type in - traveler, so it doesn't stay empty. The man told me I could've written pilgrim as well. Oh, well, too late now. He got my Compostela ready. He crumpled it and tossed it. He says he sometimes dislikes his handwriting because he is tired. He's a volunteer and is working 9 AM to 9 PM. They write names in the Compostelas in Latin. Mine is Agnetem.
The Compostela is for free. I decide to get a certificate for 3 euros as well. It'll say how many kilometers I did, the dates I was on the journey and my starting location.
I said goodbye to the nice man, we wished each other all the best and I left. So grateful for both of the pieces of paper I just got.
I popped into the information center to get maps and more info about the routes to Muxia and Finisterre. And I went to the hotel. The hotel is super close to the Cathedral. I turn and look back at the towers - yes, you're beautiful.
Thank you for the sweet room - a cute little attic.
I decided in favor of a nap instead of getting lunch because I am tired. Also relieved from everything I've achieved.
When I got up I went outside to take a stroll around the city. I am hungry. Dear Spain, no matter how beautiful you are, you are quite brutal because you can't feed the tired people. Of course, all the kitchens are closed and you can only get drinks at the bars. I found a little bakery and got myself 2 big pastries and a bottle of coke. I'm getting a little tired of it, but I have no other choice. I can't seem to find a grocery store too. I sat at the side of the Cathedral and downed my food. While watching people.
I walked up to the white street entertainer, gave him a coin and he gave me a piece of paper. I did not get it, of course. “Ojo por ojo y todo el mundo acabarà ciego. /Mahatma Gandhi/”
When I was preparing for this trip back home, I opted on walking instead of taking the bus, that way I saved 1 euro every time I did it. I thought to myself I'd spend the money I saved to buy ice-cream when I'm in Santiago. And I did.
After that I went to the entrance of the Cathedral to go to the pilgrims mass. I saw people lining up to the apostle statue. You can hug it and express your wishes to it. Then you're pure and free.
Since I don't have enough time to do both, I decided I'd go to the mass. I'll go to the other line when I get back here before my flight home.
There was a clown performing in front of the Cathedral entrance. He even sang Despacito. And people were sitting on the stairs watching him.
I went into the Cathedral and saw that it is full. So many people. No spaces left to sit down. People leaned on the columns. I too sat down on the floor to see everything.
It is forbidden to take videos or photos when the mass starts. Of course, everything was happening in Spanish. I did not understand much, but I felt much. I tried to sing along. Quietly. I understood some bits when the pastor said how important Camino is. He was grateful for all the people that were doing it. In a while the pastor asked everyone to shake hands with the people next to you and wish them well. I did it too. I was smiling more than I was saying something though. Everyone was invited to receive the Sacramental bread I went to get mine too. The mass was 45 minutes long and unfortunately, the information about the censer up in the ceiling being swayed during the mass was not true. As I was leaving the Cathedral I wet my forehead with the holy water and walked away full of peace.
My road has not ended yet. I still have 3 tough days in front of me. And now it is time to rest.
- Breakfast - 7.50 EUR
- Fanta - 2.50 EUR
- Pastries + a bottle of coke - 2.50 EUR
- Postcards and stamps - 5.75 EUR
- Certificate - 3 EUR
- Case - 2 EUR
- Distance walked - 27.5 km (including the city)