Well the morning was an exciting one because I knew that by lunchtime we would be in Santiago and there would be no more mornings of donning the old pack on back.
We set off, it was all up hill for at least the first part, head down, one foot in front of the other as the sun shone down. We trudged our way up hill, stopped for a coffee and trudged some more. We had watched the movie, The Way, and had hoped that once at the summit we would glimpse a sight of the cathedral only to find it to be a bit of a cruel joke, there was no Cathedral in sight! The descent began and finally we arrived at Santiago with much relief, but the anticipation of seeing the Cathedral grew, would we ever see or get to the Cathedral? Would we ever get the packs off our backs?
Then as we walked into the old town, there it was, just one tower peeking out of the buildings in the distance, then suddenly there was a sense of wow, a real sense of awe and relief, we had made it, all those hard days of walking treks where behind, we were here!
The next challenge was queue for our certificates to prove we had done the walk and after an hour or so, it was official, we have walked the Camino from Sarria to Santiago, go us! No-one can take it away from us! Obviously it was a celebratory vino blancho and cerversa!
We headed to our accommodation, thats when it all went pear shaped. We had booked on booking.com and arrived to the property they were unable to fulfill our booking and then tried to overcharge us! We of course were not about to let them do that, so we left. We tried a few other places, but all full, no room at the inn. We sat at a bar, a bit weary, with a bit of a weight on our shoulders, until a little Spanish woman, all of about 4 feet tall, a guardian angel, a smile on her face and amazing laugh, stopped us and mimicked did we need a place to sleep, we said yes. She took us down a little street and lead us to a bed, it was providence, a great little spot, very clean and in a local house. Of course we hugged her!
It had been a mammoth day, a mammoth achievement and a time of celebration. At this point I don’t want to hear buen Camino for quite some time, but it has been a most amazing experience, and I will reflect more, but for now it is time for the rest of my holiday, time for vino, time to party and relax with great friends. If you want a challenge, a time of reflection and a time to really consider what it is to truly live in the here and now, do the Camino, you will feel transformed in some shape or form.