I am catching up the blog but have to rely now on my journal as memories fade already to exact words and thoughts.
As we were walking the last kilometers I was thinking about the trip. Did I have expectations? No. Did I have any regrets? None whatsoever. Will I be disappointed if results turn out different? No, not really. It has been a fantastic journey, in many more ways than one.
I was wondering what that last, steep hill would be like? I’d read about it in 2 different books and was a bit nervous. But, if I can climb the Pyrenees then I can climb this one too. We came closer to Santiago and some people sped up. We stopped at a mount with a huge wall with a likeness of the Pope on it. Then went on. When we actually came upon a hill I went up without comment (or sigh) and when we came down I realized that this was ‘the hill’ they had described as so difficult. Phhhht!! Totally anticlimactic. Whiners, both of those authors. Unless they or someone moved the mountain.
On we went to Santiago but curiously did not feel a whole lot. There were large, box-like Apartment Housings, 60’s style that seems to be the same all over the world, in cities. Since it was Sunday, shops were closed. I had had the shakes earlier on and I believe I’m missing vital nutrients besides this daily, physical hardship. We must’ve walked 2-3 km when we finally came upon a cafe and sat down. After a small respit, on we went and then saw the historical section. There were lots of people walking around the small, cobble stone streets. I saw spires from the back and other nice buildings. We met an American couple, who were visiting Santiago for the second time, liking it that much. They told us that we were the first, actual pilgrims they had seen in three days.
I had told Cameron earlier that I did not feel I had arrived until I would see the cathedral. The absolute finishing point of the camino. When we came around to the front, ‘Timothy’ came back once more, lodging in my throat. There it was. The End. I had absolutely made it. Through grueling mountains and long, hot hiking, sunburn, toe injuries, hunger, thirst, and double blisters. Santiago de Compostella. I remembered a sign we had seen, right after St. Jean pie de Port, which stated 792 Km to Santiago and how I thought what a LONG way away this was. Now, I was here and tears came. Then, Cameron reached into his backpack and came out with red carnations. Like a magician. He had carried those 2 flowers for awhile. That really opened the water works, We hugged one another and then group hug for us three, so happy to have arrived. Happy shock. The couple had also come around and congratulated us and took a few photos, promising to e-mail them.