Judy chats up her new friend.
Some pilgrims continue their walk another 100 kilometers to Finisterre, once believed to be the end of the earth. We elected to be driven to the town and then walked the final 3 kilometers with Steve and Jim. There we found the final kilometer marker for the Camino.
The facade of a very old cathedral. Circa 12th century, if I remember correctly.
We arrived in Santiago at 12:15 in the afternoon on October 24th. We are two very happy gals! The final walk, while a short seven kilometers, felt particularly long especially as we wound our way nearly 3k through the city of Santiago to the Cathedral. It was an emotional arrival to say the least.
Perfect weather on our last day.
Thanks to all for following along. I can’t tell you how much your support meant to us over the past six weeks. There were many challenging moments, both physical and emotional, but it was knowing that family and friends were cheering us on that often gave us the courage and determination to take the next step.
I will continue to post but now we are off the Camino and truly in the vacation mode.
We have spent a few more days on the Camino Frances. Compared to walking the Norte, this trail is gentle with rolling hills rather than mountains, and is well groomed and well marked. Much of it has been spent on quiet wooded paths with farms along the way and the occasional small village to wander through. A very enjoyable end to a most amazing walk.
An old 9th century church in a very quiet village:
We came across this woman washing her clothes in the town’s laundry hut. We’ve have seen a few of these old structures but this is the first one that was actually operational. When I asked about taking her photo, she happily obliged.
Mother Mary can be found in the oddest places. Here, as we passed through the city of Palas de Rei, she is standing in the middle of what is now a municipal parking lot, probably an old pedestrian plaza from many, many years ago.
Upon leaving Palas de Rei this little guy was spotted near his mom:
Here and there:
Entering a small village:
We’ve seen many dogs throughout Spain. Many are treated like royalty, especially in the cities where they go everywhere with their owners. In more rural areas, the treatment can be different and at times it appears to be less humane by U.S. standards. As hard as it’s been, I’ve pretty much ignored many of the dogs I’ve seen except for sending them a kind word. However, when this sweet, shy girl was politely waiting at an outdoor cafe late one morning, we couldn’t resist helping her out. She happily, yet with much dignity, accepted the leftover breakfast sandwich we had with us. Yes, she is missing a paw. If I had found her State-side, she would have come home with me.
As I may have mentioned our plan after Oviedo was to drop down and finish our walk into Santiago on the more popular Camino Frances. We were delayed in Lugo an extra day and a half by a stomach bug. Considering we’ve been eating out for nearly 6 weeks straight, we consider ourselves lucky that we made it this far without any major issues (blisters and lost toenails don’t count).
Unfortunately we can’t say the same for our friend and walking partner, Denise. While we were in Oviedo we learned that Denise had twisted her ankle. It was a tough decision but after two days of recuperating in Navia, she realized she needed to return home. We were saddened by this news but her spirit continues with us as we near Santiago.
The Frances can’t compare with the jaw-dropping scenery of the Norte but it has a soft beauty which I’m finding more difficult to catch on camera.
Judy along the Camino:
On the Norte, one might hike all day without seeing another peregrino. Not on the Frances. This is a bar in Portomarín filled with peregrinos. The numbers and activity were overwhelming at first but we’ve adjusted.
A lovely home:
Yesterday we made it to Lugo by bus and today we will pick up the Camino once again.
Buses in Spanish, a highly used form of transportation, are clean and comfortable with wifi and flat screens.
A section of the wall:
When we learned that good friends would be passing through Oviedo, Judy and I decided to take a short vacation from walking and took a bus from Luarca down to meet them. This was a much needed rest for our feet and gave us the opportunity to park ourselves in a hotel for three nights in a row!
A few photos from Oviedo:
Above the train station, Salvador Dali – 1974: