The albergue in Padron was pretty good and most of the people we had been seeing along the way seemed to have slept well. We left at about 7:00am but stopped almost immediately for a breakfast of fresh baked apple pie and coffee. It made a good start to the day.
It was quite cold as we set out and I didn't take my fleece off for about 2 hours when we stopped again for coffee.
It turned out to be a bright clear beautiful day as we walked through several small villages where the typical Galician grain storage "horreos" were very frequent. In some villages there were several of them. In this picture there are three to be seen. They are always on stone piers designed to prevent rodents from accessing the grain stored for the winter.
In this area the villages were all tidy and well kept with gardens growing vegetables and flowers by the houses.
Sometimes we were walking under grape vines above us like a pergola. It was and shady and pleasant walking out of the hot sun.
We encountered stretches through the woods away from the major highway which ran parallel to our path but we didn't have the noise of the traffic.
More wayside crosses. Helen took some nice pictures of the various figures on some of these, many of which had stood up to weather for centuries.
For most of the Camino we have seen cabbages growing with leaves only at the very top of tall stalks, some as tall 6-7 feet from the ground. Does anyone know what type of cabbage these are and have you seen them grown in the US?
Finally after a long uphill tiring slog for the final 3 - 4 km into the city in the hot sun we arrive at the cathedral at about 1:00pm. We soon find others we had met along the way and agreed to meet again in the evening for a celebratory dinner.
We had booked an apartment very near the cathedral in Santiago for 2 nights and after getting the key and dropping our backpacks we found a table in the shade at a nearby restaurant and enjoyed lunch of
salads and Padron peppers. This time several of them were spicy.
We decided to go to the 7:30 pm Mass in the cathedral and meet after that with many of the people we had met along the way.
The mass after completing the Camino is always meaningful and joyful and this time was no exception. At the end the botafumeira was swung to the roof to encourage the pilgrims to take all the spiritual and meaningful lessons they had learned during their days, weeks or months walking along the ancient pilgrimage routes to their homes and to spread the Good News like the smoke floating out of the cathedral.
We met outside the cathedral afterwards and after a group photo we all went to dinner
After a great dinner in a party of 20 people whom we had met and shared our Camino experiences together we headed back to our apartment, passing some of the many churches and monasteries on the way.
It has been a great experience for both Helen and me. So many great people we have met and shared both stories and meals with during the past 10 days of walking about 125 miles. We climbed many hills and crossed many rivers often on bridges and along paths built some 2000 years ago and still in use. We arrived at a cathedral whose construction started in 1075 and is still strong and imposing today. We had time while walking to meditate and pray. To give thanks and to seek peace and forgiveness. To feel encouraged and exhausted each day but to realize how little one really needs in life by carrying everything you have and need for this experience on your back like pilgrims have done on these same trails for over 1000.years!
Ultreia! Keep moving!
That's all for today. Tomorrow we plan to stay and explore the city