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Walking Camino de Santiago – Day 10, Small Finish – Santiago de Compostella

Bicycle path in Spain

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Kaspars’s diary of the adventure completed in spring 2013. Translated by Una.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is April 29. Yesterday in the evening, when arriving to this albergue, I was feeling very, very good, better than everyone else. When walking the last kilometers I even thought – maybe I can run to Santiago de Compostella? Maybe to say to my mates: “Hey, I am running to Santiago today! See you!” Maybe to run these last 30 km, somehow, till the night?

But I didn’t do it. And today we are together.

The day starts not so well. Una doesn’t feel good and also she is very, very tired. We decide to sleep for couple more hours. And send sms to others, that they can go without us.

We wake up two hours later and go to the restaurant to have a breakfast. And after breakfast we see that the others haven’t went anywhere, they waited for us. We started together and we will finish together, they say.

We start to walk at 10 o’clock. The air is warm. Looks like that weather will be very pleasant today.

On the road again, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

Today we walk in silence, all of us. We talk a little bit at our first stop – roadside cafe. Even before we stop, we know, what we will have – a coffee with milk and something to eat, hopefully something sweet. I say: “Everything, except the hard toast!”

We are happy that they sell croissants. I and Edgars are laughing – we can eat this way every day! Why do we need to eat rice, potatoes, pasta and meat, when we can have coffee and croissant or toast instead! Just buy the toaster and that’s all, kitchen is equipped.

Despite the fact that we are approaching a big city – Santiago de Compostella – and mostly walk on the side of wide road, time after time we go through nice fairy tale forests. They never cease to amaze us – how they still can stay so wild and amazing nowadays.

Fairy tale forest, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

One kilometer, two, three, ten, fifteen… We are approaching Santiago de Compostella quickly. At one point we start to think – maybe we missed the place where we can get the last stamp before Santiago?

No, we haven’t missed it. Here it is, on the hill. From this hill we can see our today’s and the pilgrimage route’s (800 km in total) destination – Santiago de Compostella. We stop for a while to enjoy the view and then go further.

The city is close now, but it is big. So, to get to the city center from the outskirts we need to walk for an hour. But we are happy to walk, we will see the city better. Everything is green here and everything is blooming – summer is approaching.

Approaching Santiago de Compostella, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

As usual we follow the yellow arrows, until we have reached the destination – Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. This Cathedral is one of the most important Christian edifices. We are happy to be here, in this stunning and magnificent place we have only seen in the pictures.

It is sunny Monday’s evening, and here, in front of the Cathedral, are a lot of people. Many of them are just standing and looking around, taking in the surroundings. Some of them are just laying on the ground and relaxing.

It’s nice here. We go inside the Cathedral and ask where to get the Pilgrimage Certificate. As we find out, here we can’t get it, we need to go to a place nearby. We find it quickly and go to wait in the queue for our turn. To get the Pilgrimage Certificate we just need to show our passports and pilgrim’s passports. And that’s it!

Santiago de Compostella, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

Wow! We don’t expect to meet another Latvian today, here, in Santiago de Compostella! But we do meet – a girl who have finished her Way at the same time as us, but only she walked it from Porto in Portugal.

We talk a little and go to search for an accommodation. Today I plan to sleep under the stars in my sleeping bag, but my comrades will sleep in an albergue, as previously. They are not so keen to sleep outside, just in a sleeping bag. But I have wanted to do it from the very beginning. So, why not today?

When we have found out how to get to “the end of the world” – Finisterre, we, with a help of a local lady, find also an albergue for my mates. While they check in the albergue, I walk around. After a while we meet in the supermarket. After buying food in the supermarket, I find a cafe with WiFi. My mates go back to their albergue. I drink a cup of coffee there and check my Twitter and Facebook.

Also I look at the weather forecast – at night there is a possibility of rain.

Arriving in Santiago de Compostella, Walking Camino de Santiago, Spain

I go outside to search for a place where to sleep. And pretty soon I find it. It will be a park near the albergue where the rest of our group stay for the night. This place looks quiet and calm and there are a lot of benches. One of them could be mine, haha.

As I have found a place where to sleep, now I can walk around a little and wait when it will be darker. Santiago de Compostella is nice and green city. I find another park, there I wash my feet under the tap and change my socks.

And shortly before 11 PM I am back in the park where I will spend the night. I look for a bench, in a more dark corner of the park, and lie down. My wallet and my phone are in the front pockets of my pants, but the backpack I put under the bench and attach one of the straps to my wrist. I set my alarm clock for 6 AM.

I am little bit worried and scared, though. One runner runs past my bench, then another and then few more. I am not sure if they have seen me laying there. I drift off to sleep.

In Santiago de Compostella, Spain

Read all our articles from Camino de Santiag0 2013!

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