My last day walking the Camino was not at all the jubilant day I expected due to the onset of a severe cold. It clouded my thinking, my emotions, and sapped my energy. So I was quite please to come across Barry & Tom mid-morning.
We walked most of the day together, stopping off for a break where we once again ran into two terrific ladies from England who have been having a great time all the way across Spain. Unfortunately Tom left behind his water bottle and later had to backtrack to retrieve it leaving Barry and I to walk the last strech by ourselves.
Arrived!!! November 1st All Saints Day. Officially 925 kilometers door to door. 1,052 kilometers including “tourist kilometers”. And 20+lbs lighter. Started in Lourdes France 47 days ago.
It took me two days, but I finally made it to the Pilgrims Mass in the Cathedral and was fortunate that they launched the Botafumeiro, incense burner, a ritual traditionally performed prior to the mass to cover up the stench emanating from the pilgrims. Now it performed after mass concluded to allow everyone to photograph the event.
It is not possible to express the gratitude I have for having the opportunity to make this pilgrimage walk across Spain, for the loving support of family and friends, for the beautiful people from all corners of the globe I have been blessed to meet.
My cold (later discovered it was pneumonia) has convinced me to forgo the walk to Finnesterra. I am learning to take the advice I would give to others “listen to your body”. So I will walk there the next time. I have a feeling I will be back before too long.
I will next take a train to Portugal to visit Fatima, the final goal of my “hat trick”. I will also visit Porto and Lisbon before heading out on two unplanned side trips, to the Netherlands and France, before heading home for Thanksgiving. More on these later stay tuned….