We arrived in Santiago yesterday morning around 11:30 am, just in time to check into the hotel (which is an old pilgrim´s hospital built by Ferdinand and Isabel way back in the day) and attend the 12 pm Pilgrim´s Mass. We had planned two long days (28 km each!) on Tuesday and Wednesday, so that we had a nice and easy 10 or 11 km stroll on Thursday morning. The great weather stuck with us through yesterday (although today it is raining and cold again) so we are very pleased about that. Since arriving in Santiago I´ve seen a few familiar faces from people found and lost along the way, and gotten updates on others through the Camino grapevine. Last night we met Marcos and Andrea, a Brazilian couple that I had to part with while I was waiting for mom, and had a nice dinner with them before they left.
My friend Chema, who has doen the Camino 7 or 8 times, kept warning me that arriving in Sangtiago is the worst part of the Camino, and that 'when you get there, even though you think there should be, there is no band playing to welcome you.' Ha! There was a dude playing the gaita, a bagpipe-like local instrument, right as we walked into the plaza where the cathedral is! I took a picture to gloat to Chema when I see him in Madrid :) The mass was also very nice, and then later in the day we went and got our official compostelas, certificates that we completed the pilgrimage (and in Latin to boot!). We are VERY accomplished you know. I wish I could upload some more pictures but I have had bad luck with finding internet cafes that allow me to do so. I will send out a link when I am back in the US in a few weeks.
All in all, I´ve had a great time over the past month, walking alone, walking with new friends from all over the world, and walking with my mom. My feet and knees are sore, but I held up pretty well overall. I´m looking forward to going on a REAL vacation now! (And Krissy, if you're reading this, we aren't walking anywhere in Portugal. Anywhere).
In other news, I managed to walk 707 km without even one blister, and then last night in the hotel I fainted, hit my head on the toilet, and now look like I just lost the prizefight of the century (huge black eye, a couple of cuts on the face and forehead). Don´t worry, I´m completely fine, if a little swollen. I think Martha suffered more last night than I did, without that sweet motherly worrying. She is a star.
And with that, I think my blogging days are finished. See you all soon, I´m out!