- Friday, (Day 4), was again a misty start, but after a quiet evening in another lovely Pazo, we headed out for Palas de Rei, via the Knights Templar monastery and church – about 18 km today
- The trail was not too bad today – mostly undulating rather than steep climbs and descents, and few asphalt roads.
- We left the trail and walked about 2.5 km to the Knights Templar church in the hamlet of Vilar de Donas. When we arrived the church was closed but Carolyn rustled up the old bloke who looks after it and he opened it up for us. Within a few minutes we were joined by 3 other groups – all Australians!! We must be an inquisitive lot …. but the detour was well worth the walk.
- By now it was sunny again so we headed for Palas de Rei. It was quite warm and Adrienne suffered from a few blisters. We found a farmacia and it had just about everything possible to do with feet. We found little gel “toe condoms” and these proved to be a great success in preventing blisters.
- Our casa was run by three sisters, all in their 80’s and was very nice, albeit a little 1950’s
- Saturday, (Day 5), was a 15 km walk to the larger town of Melide. The advertised highlight today is a couple of medieval bridges that are still operational.
- Sunday, (Day 6), another 15 km to Arzua, was a gentle day – warm, not too hilly, and lots of shade along the way, but finished with a brutal ascent into Arzua – lots of grey heads panting up this hill
- Monday, (Day 7), was a 19 km walk to Pedrouzo. Most of the day was quite gentle – and with Adrienne feeling good we kept going and finished the walking by 2pm – the beer and raciones, (Adrienne’s go to lunch), tasted great as we waited for Carolyn and Richard, but they had taken a detour into the Taberna and were not seen for some hours.
- We arrived at next accomodation – a beautiful 18th century converted mill, beside a lovely cool stream
- Tuesday, (Day 8), the final 21 km into Santiago de Compostela – dawned hot and got hotter, and was a long, and in the end, tough day. There is a long slog up to Monte Gozo, and then the last 5 km through town on the asphalt were my least favourite part of a fantastic experience that has inspired us to start looking at other long distance walks around the world.
- Adrienne and I were hot, bothered, knackered and in need of beer and food so we had a quick look around and headed for our hotel only a few metres from the cathedral.
- Wednesday, (Day 9), and we up early and around to the pilgrim’s office to collect our certificates – excellent move as we queued for about 10 minutes in the cool, while Richard and Carolyn had stood for an hour and a half yesterday in the heat. We are now certified pilgrims in Spanish and Latin.
We then went to the pilgrims mass at the cathedral – they get around a thousand people every day. It is a stunning cathedral, but the highlight is when they light the frankincense burner and swing it high over the masses – this tradition is reputedly to hide the stink of the pilgrims.
- After the service we headed for Fisterra, the traditional “end of the earth” where many pilgrims extended their walk to cast a stone carried from their start into the sea. We had collected stones at Sarria and completed the tradition.
- Thursday we packed and flew to Madrid. We found our apartment, (only city time while we are away), and Adrienne hates it – can’t wait to get back to the quiet countryside. But we did some window shopping and had a final tapas and paella dinner with Richard and Carolyn before bidding them farewell.
- It is now Friday afternoon and we have not moved – Adrienne is watching movies and considering getting dressed – this is the mother of all rest days – we will go and get pedicures and massages around the corner later this afternoon, but that is the height our ambition!! We’ll go exploring tomorrow …
4 thoughts on “Week 20 – The Camino de Santiago”
What an amazing walk, I share your photos and stories with my friend Kerry when we are doing our beach walk and having coffee, she’s enjoying all the updates as well. Xxx
Great blogging! Nice part of the world, where old is all about, picture-book stuff. You mentioned Dordogne the go to for the Pom anti Brexiters, for sure will have plenty who speak English, they do like to think its Bradford in the sun 🙂 Walking is what you have done! apart from the normal toes and knees being a bit sore now and then it’s a great way to keep active. Anyway enjoying your updates and photos !
Congrats on making it, the puglian walks put you in good stead.
Loved all the photos and tales.
Addrienne, you need another visitor to bring home a suitcase of shoes for you. I’m unavailable at the moment as need to save for the next trip.
Hello from Manchester
I hope you are well and relaxing after our walk. I met a lovely fellow from London at the airport and we journeyed through to Heathrow together. The whole way there he gave me cheek about how I’d only walked from Sarria. He had walked the whole Camino right through to Fisterra. Days after the walk I thought I was done but now I’m already entertaining the thought of doing another stage in the future. It’s like giving birth. You swear you’ll never do it again and then…..
I’d like to share a photo of my daughter and I with you. I am enjoying her so much and we are getting along just marvellously.
Keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing. Adrienne you got my number but I didn’t get yours. No. or email will do.
All the best and keep enjoying your gap year!!!!