Santiago de Compostela, we arrive. While walking the Camino de Santiago, I found myself in tears exactly three times. Here’s why.
The day the evil alien blister from hell burst and I had to walk for miles. I had a 5-minute melt down, put on my flip flops and carried on – miserably – but I got there.
Upon arriving in Santiago de Compostela we found our way to the Cathedral and the Pilgrim’s Office. I have to tell you we lost track of the shells and walked in circles tired and frustrated. It’s a bit of a dirty trick. When you reach Santiago, you discover it is still 4.7 kms to the Cathedral. Augh!
Stamp, Stamp, Completo
Had it not been for Abi’s willingness to stand in line we would not have our compostelas. But he did and finally, it was our turn. The woman took our pilgrims passports, STAMP, STAMP, completo. She wrote Abi Maghamfar on Abi’s compostela. She told me my name in Latin is Patricia and I said, si, but I am Patti. Si, but in Latin you’re Patricia so we have to write Patricia because the compostela is in Latin. No, my name is Patti, I want Patti.
The clerk next to her proceeded to tell me again that they must write all names in Latin. Well, you didn’t write Abi in Latin, I said. That’s because he does not have a Latin-based name, you do. She actually began to write Patricia and I cried for the 2nd time. Abi told her she doesn’t want Patricia, she looked up at me irritatingly and said, okay, okay. The woman (another pilgrim) standing next to me said, “Be Happy.” I swear I wanted to smack her down right then and there. I didn’t walk across Spain to not have my name written on that damn paper! 😉
The day after our arrival. We went to the Cathedral and mass was in progress. I could hear the voice of an angel singing but could not see her. Trying to take in the grandeur of the Cathedral and just being there in that moment was so emotionally powerful.
And then, the gift we only hoped for was given to all those in attendance. They swung the botafumeiro and it was so moving, with the smoke of the incense, the organ music (come on organ music in a Cathedral!) and knowing that we walked in the path of those who walked before us for a thousand years, it was too much, I cried for the 3rd time.
And Then it Was Over
And then just like that it was over. No fanfare, no hoopla and as Abi said no one to put a lei around your neck and kiss your cheek. It’s just over. O.V.E.R. We walked 350 miles in 30 days, plus 5 days of rest and healing. I could have done without the blisters and the pain of said blisters, but in the end everything happened exactly as it was supposed to. We made all the right decisions at the right moments and we have absolutely no regrets.
Thank you, to all of you who followed our journey – and offered words of encouragement – as we walked our Camino. It meant so much to us!
So, what’s next?! Tomorrow morning we’ll catch the 6:19 a.m. train and make our way south to Porto, Portugal! Abi is looking forward to a return visit (and the port!) and I’m looking forward to my first visit to the other half of my heritage. My mother was Portuguese, my father was German. Stubborn don’t ya know?!
From Porto, we’ll make our way to Barcelona, and from Barcelona to Aix en Provence, France, where we will plant ourselves for 10 days, sit in cafes and indulge in fabulous french pastry while we watch the world go by. It’s a tough gig, but I think we can handle it. After all, we just walked 350 miles across Spain following the Camino de Santiago.
i enjoyed the read, btw don’t u mean 500 miles (484.69) = 780 km
Hi Terry ~ Nope. We walked a total of 350 miles on the Camino, we did not walk the Meseta because we stopped for 4 days to let my feet heal.
Wow! I am reading it nearly a year after you did it and marvelling at the pilgrimage. You did it!
I read all the entries for this trip in one go. It is 3.00 a.m. here now and I think I should sleep. Cheers!
I am so impressed with you and your husband Abi.
Warm greetings from Delhi, India.
Thank you for reading our posts and for sharing such kind words! Now get some sleep! 🙂
I’m just catching up with your posts after a spell without good wi-fi, and want to say a HUGE CONGRATS for getting through it Patti and Abi!
Well done for not giving up and seeing it through. I imagine that although it was tough it only makes it more rewarding. I enjoyed following your pain and suffering 🙂
Rob recently posted…The day we broke Donkey (our tandem bike)
Thanks so much, Rob! There were a few days that I wanted to throw in the towel but knew I’d regret it, I wanted to finish. I’m super proud of us and it was incredibly rewarding.
Congratulations on pushing through! And you ONLY cried 3 times in 30 days over 350 miles. I actually think that is pretty good 🙂
Rhonda recently posted…Sniffing for Coffee
Ha! Ha! Not too bad, right?! And thanks!
Thank you for the inspiration, what an amazing experience!
Jayne Wall recently posted…A weekend away-Lake Tahoe
Thanks so much Jayne – it was amazing!
Many congratulations, Patti and Abi. We are so impressed with what you have done. We’ve really enjoyed following your footsteps. You really have grit! And your pictures were terrific. Enjoy your well earned rest. We’ll look forward to seeing you in June.
I don’t know if it’s grit or stubborn… but either way it got me through! 😉 We’re looking forward to seeing everyone soon!
My 2 sisters and niece finished on Sunday May 17th and my parents and I flew to Santiago to surprise them (one sister was in on it). We dressed in disguises and sat outside of the restaurant across from the check in. It was the BEST surprise ever!!! And we went to the Mass and saw the swinging inscence too! I bet we walked right past you. Congratulations!!
What a fantastic surprise and such a special entry into Santiago for your family! It’s fun to think we were all there at the same time, thanks so much for sharing your story and congratulations to your sisters and niece!
Congrats! I’m so happy to hear that you made it, what an amazing achievement and a journey you’ll never forget. I’m not surprised you cried when they wouldn’t write your name down, I would have been the same. It sounds like an emotional experience all-round. I hope you’re now enjoying a good rest. By the way, I totally get you about the Roosters, they don’t care what time it is, they just crow, crow, crow – they are the bane of my life here in Asia!
Amy recently posted…A Weekend in Mai Chau
Ha! Ha! Ha! Amy, the roosters are so crazy! All the way across Spain I kept thinking I never want to live near a rooster! Thanks so much for all the support as we walked, it meant so much to both of us!
Fantastic achievement, it must feel like a mixture of so many diferent emotions. I will miss your almost daily posts and updates and you have inspired me to do the Camino one day. So your mother is Portuguese? Do you speak the language? Enjoy the rest of your stay in Europe, next time you should also come to England.
Gilda Baxter recently posted…Canela, Brazil – And A Tale Of A Cinnamon Tree
England is definitely on our list, I’ve wanted to see Cornwall for quite some time. Where are you? My mother has passed but yes, she was Portuguese, but sadly she did not grow up with the language so of course neither did I. It’s been fun getting to know a bit of my heritage, really enjoying Porto.
We live in Dorset, near Bournemouth. Do come and visit on your way to Cornwall, we do have a spare room and it will be a pleasure to have you and Abi.
Gilda Baxter recently posted…Canela, Brazil – And A Tale Of A Cinnamon Tree
One day, Gilda! 🙂
I’ve never walked anywhere close to that distance. Very impressive!
Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted…What is there to do at Great Sand Dunes National Park?
Thanks, Scott. I don’t plan on doing it again any time soon! 😉
Well, you gave me chills when you wrote: “And then just like that it was over.” Maybe it’s just a beginning. Who knows?
Enjoy your 10 days of rest. The memories of your walk will come back over the years. You did it!!!!!
Valid point, Sandy. But the “walking” is definitely over! 😉 We did it!
Dear Patti and Abi,
Congratulations on your success! It’s been such a pleasure to read your honest and heartfelt words. At times I could cry and rejoice right along with the two of you. I pray that the rest of your journey brings joy and rest to both of you! Thanks for sharing your journey!
Thanks so much, Gail! It was an amazing experience made more special by the support of friends!
Well done!!! I can’t give you a lei or a hug but I can think it. Congratulations you made it. You both should be proud yet you remain humble. I love that you made a decision to do this and you did it. I love your spirits and love of living life your way.
Thank you Diane. Knowing we had the support and encouragement of those who care about us really did help. When we were walking we were busy living it each day, now we can process the crazy incredible journey we took on.
Congrats you two. You did it!!
We did it!!!
What a fabulous experience –
Congratulations on making it to the other side of Spain by foot 😀
Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted…Packing List for Travel Journallers Who Want to be More Arty
Thank you so much, Linda, for following along with us – your support meant so much!
You did way beyond good. You did magnificent! I’m almost sorry your trip is finished. I so enjoyed reading about your pilgrimage in almost real time. Enjoy your time in Barcelona. As you know, I and a lot of other travel bloggers were just there. It is a gorgeous place to just—dare I say—-walk around. I had not been to La Sagrada Familia since 2008. The progress on the inside was well worth my return visit. Reserve your tickets to visit there, on-line, several days in advance. I was unable to go up to the tower because all the tickets for that were sold out. Buen viaje.
Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…AARP Member Discounts – A 50th Birthday Present
I actually understand what you mean about it being over. I do not miss the walking, neither do my feet, but I miss the experience. It became our life for 35 days. Thanks so much for following along with us and the comments, all of which was great moral support!
Congratulations! Yes, a walk of a lifetime filled with many memories, and tears are OK too. Right on that you demanded “your” name.
Gaelyn recently posted…Snow on opening day at the North Rim
Ha! Ha! Thanks, Gaelyn! It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Congrats! My daughter would love to be doing this again – and I’d like to try the northern route.
Leigh recently posted…Trilliums and Ruins: A Spring Hike in Gatineau Park
I think I’m good with 1 Camino in this lifetime! 😉 I’d love to follow your journey if you do walk.
So proud of you and Abi for walking YOUR walk and making it happen. All the planning, the bumps, and the blisters. It sounds like you learned even more about yourselves. Thanks for sharing the journey with us!
Thanks so much, Debby, we’re so thankful for all of the support!
What an awesome experience! And, I would have insisted my name be documented correctly also. Enjoy watching the world go by for a few days. You deserve it. Congratulations on a great accomplishment! 🙂
Thanks so much, Julie! You’ve had a few amazing adventures of your own!
So very pleased for you both a wonderful achievement and a true trip of a lifetime.
christine taylor recently posted…I slow down for butterflies!
Thanks so much, and yes, it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!