Day 35. Vilamaior to Santiago

I set the alarm for 7. When it didn’t go off I got up to discover I set it for pm. So I switched the light on and woke Ali. Lachy continued sleeping, after me hunting him to bed at midnight from watching YouTube on Ali’s iPhone.
We were in having breakfast by 7.45 and were ready to walk at 8.20.
We had some big climbs initially but eventually it flattened out and soon we were past the TV station. There were some interesting views to the south and after 90 minutes we arrived at a little church adjacent to a large monument. It was break time so Lachy sat for a coke and kitkat while Ali and I did some photos. On track again we headed towards San Marcos.
Just past it there was a steep descent. We saw several of the pilgrims from last night go by. At this time Lachy was struggling a bit with his feet.
We hit the big roundabout and took some photos at the Santiago sign and then it was heading in on the Main Street. I tried to get some much needed cash but the ATM didn’t have English and thankfully I got my card back.
We shuffled up towards the old town and found a suitable ATM and then a cafe for some coffee and cake.
Then it was a final push up to the cathedral.
We bumped into Jessica again and took some photos and then headed into the pilgrim mass, having to sit on the steps as the cathedral was full already.
After mass we wandered around looking for the pilgrim office and lined up to get our compostelas.
Then it was off to book into the hotel. As it turned out our mochilas arrived just as we booked in. The room is great although it’s set up for disabled use but it’s big and clean and it’s absolute bliss to lie down and take my shoes off. Later I go down and retrieve the parcel I sent four and a bit weeks ago.
Ali and I went for a little wander and found the Franciscan Convent, the supermarket and restaurant alley.
While there a stranger came up to me and gave me a hug. It was Michelle who recognised me from my postings and congratulated me and Ali on finally arriving. I’ve got fans!
We returned to the cathedral but the tours were booked out so we did our own, exploring the western door, the crypt and all the chapels. I even climbed up behind the alter and in accordance with pilgrim tradition, I hugged the statue of St James.
Back at the room by 5.30, we dragged Lachy down to the Francican church to obtain our special Franciscan certificate.
Next stop was restaurant Ribadavia for a lobster paella with sangria followed by limon glacé for Ali and creme caramel for Lachy and myself.
What a great birthday feast. My beautiful daughters topped it all off with a nice hand drawn birthday card.
Well it’s now done!
I set out to achieve something extraordinary, by doing the most ordinary thing of placing one foot in front if the other. It has been both a wonderful and at times terrifying experience but you never know what you can achieve until you try. I have met some wonderful people and had some great times with them. I hope you enjoyed reading about them and I’m sure I will re-read what I wrote and relive those experiences many times.
But it’s done and this brings my Camino to a close.
I wish you all a very big and final Buen Camino.
But I’m going to keep posting on my holiday!










Jessica from day 1

Michelle recognised me from my posts



6 responses to “Day 35. Vilamaior to Santiago

  1. well done johnny and a happy birthday so verry proud of you felt like part of your journey when i read your blogs now enjoy the holiday love kathryn xxx

  2. Congratulations Johnny. We’ve felt your battles, dined with you, met your friends, worried about you, and now you’re just going to leave? No! You must visit from time to time, and don’t sleep walk!

  3. I have been sharing your story far and wide. It’s amazing how a man’s experience in Spain can enthuse, inspire and amaze people a world away that you may never meet. Thank you. On another note – How skinny are you!?!?! You’ll need to stock up on the cruise!

    • I have dropped 10. Today i feel swollen and it feels strange not having to get up in the pre-dawn to haul my carcass over undiscovered Spanish countryside. Its 9 and its time for brekky.

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