Saturday, 16 July 2011

Reborn in Finisterre

In the Atlantic in Finisterre


At the pilgrim mass on Wednesday I met 2 Japanese ladies I had seen and walked with a few times on the Camino. They are Naoka and Rika, both of whom now live in Canada. They had also decided to go to Finisterre the following day, so we arranged to travel down together.
On Thursday morning we caught the bus to Finisterre, a journey of 3 hours.
The coastline to Finisterre is absolutely beautiful, just like the west coast of Scotland around Fort William.
I identified a lovely resort called San Francisco as a place where I would like to go and live when I retire.

When we arrived in Finsiterre we were welcomed by people offering accomodation.
I had a lovely room to myself in a house for €15.
It was the first decent sleep I have had for ages.

Naoka met some friends she had met along the way and we all went for some lunch.
While we were there I met Ian, an English guy I had met on the very first day from St Jean to Rocevalles.
It was so good meeting up with him, and so we were able to chat about our caminos.

We all decided to go up to the lighthouse for sunset. We took a bottle of wine and some goodies to eat, but the weather wasn´t going to co-operate and the clouds started to roll in off the Atlantic.
We still drank the wine though :-)

Yesterday morning we returned to Santiago. This time the bus took 3,5hours to return.
Once back in santiago I met up with a young Korean girl whom I had met early on in the camino.
She was so excited to see me and gave me a big hug.

I am now walking around Santiago killing time until my train leaves tonight for Mdrid.
This time tomorrow I will be boarding my plane back to South Africa.

Happy birthday Andrew :-)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Well - my camino has now officially finished.
This morning I walked the final 4kms into Santiago, went to the Pilgrim office and received my Compostella, then went to the cathedral for the Pilgrim mass, and hugged the statue of St. James.

I was hoping to be able to post a photo here, but this internet cafe doesn´t seem to allow that.

I am staying in a very nice place tonight. It is called Seminario Mejor. It is an old seminary that has been turned into a hotel. It is about 25m from one of the cathedral entrances. The cost is only €23 per night and includes breakfast. The breakfast looked really good this morning. Not bad at all.

Tomorrow I am going to take the bus to Finisterre and stay there the night.
I will return to Santiago on Friday, stay the night at the same hotel, then catch the train out on Saturday night.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my family and friends who gave me the necessary encouragement to complete this camino. It has been a long walk, but a job well done.

Monday, 11 July 2011

O Pedrouzo

The final stretch.
I have decided that I won´t have time to walk to Finisterre, but will go there on Thursday by bus instead.
I´ll stay overnight there, then come back to Santiago on Friday, and then leave on Saturday for my long journey home.
This time next week I will be back home :-)

Sunday, 10 July 2011


I thought I was going to get a good night´s sleep in the Pension last night -ha!
There was a fiesta on, so there was a lot of noise with drunken revellers still going strong in the early parts of the morning.
When it was time to leave there wasn´t a soul about, even though it was going on for 9am.
I hadn´t paid for my night´s stay, so I left a note saying I would send the money later when I got back to South Africa. When I arrived at the alberge here in Arzua I got the young lady who runs the place to phone the pension for me. She said that they had received my note, and it was ok.
They are very laid back here in Spain.

There is nothing to write about Arzua, its just a small stop-off town on the way to Santiago.
Just before entering the town there was the 40km marker, so Santiago is very close.
What most people do, and so will I, is stay tomorrow night in O Pedrouzo, then the following day head to Monte de Gozo which is 4,5kms away from Santiago. There is a huge alberge there. Then one sets off from there early the next morning and arrive in Santiago in time to receive the Compostela, and then go to the Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral at 12 noon.

Saturday, 9 July 2011


It was raining again this morning so it was an uncomfortable walk.
I got as far as Melide, 12km, and decided to pack it in for the day.
I quickly phoned Ricardo to tell him that I was staying here, and booked into a pension.
How nice it is to have a decent bed, clean sheets, a private bathroom with proper towels.

I tried to have a nap but was disturbed by fireworks and music and horns hooting.
There was a fiesta on the go - St Cristobal fiesta.
In the main street of the town there was a large open van all decorated with a band playing and a priest showering blessings on all the trucks of the neighbourhood. They all drove past, decorated and hooters blaring.

While I was watching that Noako and Rika (two Japanese ladies I have met along the way) came along, all wet and bedraggled. They have also booked into the same pension.
We will go and have dinner later on.
The speciality of Melide is pulpo (octopus), so I will try that.

Tomorrow I will take it easy again and walk to Arzua, which is only 13kms away.
I plan on reaching Santiago on Wednesday.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Palas de Rei

It was a bit cool and misty when I left this morning but about 5km from Palas de Rei it turned into a steady drizzle.
For the first time since the first day I had to pull on my poncho. I am also wearing my fleece, its that cold.
The sign outside the pharmacy went from 18C to 14C in about half an hour.

There were hundreds of people walking along today, mostly schoolkids.
I guess thats the problem with coming on the camino when the schools are on holiday.
Ricardo and I have quite a good system worked out.
He likes to leave early when its still dark, so he shoots ahead and gets to an alberge nice and early.
He then reserves a place for me and phones me to let me know which alberge to head for.
That way we make sure we get a place.
Thats also a reason why I haven´t been pampering myself by staying in a hotel, I can´t let Ricardo down. He´s such a nice chap.

There really isn´t a whole lot to do in this town except eat, drink and relax. I am becoming good at all three activities - lol.