Day Whatever by this stage/etap as in “who cares” I’m in Santiago and it’s WOOT City!
Let’s say it’s Day 50 in Santiago de Compostela. It’s the 24th of October 2014 and I’ve walked from Seville in Southern Spain up to S de C in Galicia – I hit the ground bussing on September 4 and arrived in S de C on the 24 th of October – 50 days later. I’m done in, I’ve done it, OK? Es is compledo (very bad spanish for it’s DONE!)
Here’s the whole 6 lines of journal entry from that day almost a year ago –
“It’s done. Met Vicki on 2nd last day. Walked and talked with her very easily for 2 stages, the final one into S de C. The relief is tremendous – no more walking, different beds, solitude, etc. A big achievement but one I can barely fathom at the moment.”
After Vicki left from the Cathedral Square to locate her albergue and bed for the night (and the next) I walked into the Paradore (next to the Cathedral), checked my smelly self in and luxuriated in a shower and some clean clothes. Hiking clothes of course. Tres boring for such a momentous occasion but Luxe surroundings.
Now I’ve stressed how down-key it all is – you are lost in the crowd of other pilgrims who have arrived from the gods know where – plus groups of tourists with their token walking poles (very funny) as they step off their bus and this is THE THING…
Santiago de Compostela was always a destination for believers. It’s a town made sacred by relics of St James (Iago – think Othello and Shakespeare), and a field of dreams. Pilgrims walked to this town to Saint James because he could heal their wounds or those of their loved ones.
Medieval pilgrims in their grot and slime and snot and dirt and piety, above all, piety, made their way to the Cathedral of Saint James (Sant Iago) and gathered together to offer up their prayers to be fulfilled or indulged.
They didn’t take selfies. No certificates to merit their achievement of walking hundreds of kilometres so that an ailing child might recover.
Whilst my pilgrimage was compelled, it is for later days to tell me the true treasure found.
I have an inkling.
So, as you are no doubt gathering, no HOO HA!
Vicki and I attended the mass at 6 pm that night and I sort of just knew that they would swing the Botafumeiro, I just knew it and they did! But Crap Pilgrim struck again and whilst I thought I was filming the swinging bottle I wasn’t. Some nights they don’t swing. That night we may have been very smelly?
So here’s a Youtube clip – this is your just desserts for your wonderful pilgrimage. This is your reward. It shows exactly how it is. Your own celebrations are inside your head – everyone in the room is mostly on the same journey so no special commendations EXCEPT they DO read out your country when you register for your certificate.
I thought I would cry but I didn’t. When I remember the awe that I felt sitting back in the Cathedral of Seville I realised I’d come a mighty long way. I cried in Seville.
Vicki and I joined others for dinner at a groovy place that pilgrims go to – I can’t remember the name of it. We were fit and fab and famished is all I can say – I was famished for company.
Please note the ages around the table – you are not too old to do this walk. You must definitely put it on your bouquet list.
When we all left the eating place and dispersed, I went back to the Paradore but was called by music from one of the surrounding cloisters around the cathedral square. This is where you will hear the wonderful boys in their capes of Splendour.
Naturally, after a night of celebration I danced (very quietly) and hummed and bought all of their CDs! They are a personal musical favourite now (a year later and in my Aussie homeland) and if you hang out in the square once you’ve “arrived” you’ll hear them most nights.
I spent an afternoon and a whole day in Santiago de Compostela – you have to go to the Office of the Certificate or what it’s called, to collect your beautiful piece of paper that states in Latin that you walked all that way in pilgrimage to S de C.
There are times when there are too many pilgrims lined up and it’s just not funny anymore to stand around – I was never one for standing in queues and especially NOT after a thousand ks.
I left and came back when there were about 3 pilgrims and an empty desk and I got what I wanted in about 5 minutes.
hint: when the line is full, go away and come back at a later time when the certificate office is empty – much nicer! much quicker!
I got the usual little certificate then Vicki mentioned that a larger one was also available so I got one of those as well – it has more detail of your journey.
I’d go the larger one if you’re pre$$ed.
She and I also went to listen to the nuns singing Evensong – I can’t find it on YouTube – I keep getting strange items with nuns in it?! But ask around and then GO! It’s another piece of the puzzle in your time travel journey. So sacred, human, small and yet soaring on wings of piety.