Day 35, Camino Ingles, Sigüero to Santiago de Compostela 17.2 km

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Total distance 971.8 km
Daily average 27.8
Today’s accumulated uphill elevation 208 m
Today’s accumulated downhill elevation 177 m

Yesterday’s hospitalera who I presume is called Chisca, was worth her high charges in entertainment value. She is one of those women who rushes around at full speed but ends up going round in circles. She is very kind and insisted that I call round to the albergue this morning even though I didn’t want the included breakfast. She had made me a package to take with me including a pear, an orange, a kiwi fruit and a yoghurt. And she also gave me a present of a papier-mâché Camino arrow brooch. Much appreciated.

I caught up with Juan a short while out of Sigüero and we had a good chat about all things Camino related, and a few unrelated.

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And halfway through this short stage I was very excited to receive a message from American Niki, who started from Irun the same day as me. I haven’t seen her for what seems like weeks, but she will be in Santiago today and wants to meet.

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I have noticed a lot of kiwi vines growing in these parts as in the top photo

I have noticed a lot of kiwi vines growing in these parts as in the top photo

It was an easy stage, almost entirely on track and I arrived in Santiago at 11:00, left my pack at the albergue and walked to Praza do Obradoiro to people watch for a while. I went inside the cathedral at 11:30 and all the pews reserved for pilgrims with credenciales were taken, some by people who were obviously not pilgrims. The system was being policed by the security staff when I was there last year but this was not in evidence today.

I am always surprised by just how very rude some people can be, pushing in front and taking no notice when asked to move out the way of a person in wheelchair; talk when asked to be silent; take photos when requested not to. I couldn’t believe my eyes when one woman walked in wearing racer back vest and short running shorts – not a young woman – who barged her way to the front. The cathedral officials must despair at times.

Despite it being my fourth camino, my joy at arriving in Santiago de Compostela has not diminished. Although I am not religious the cathedral and the pilgrims’ mass never fail to move me close to tears. The same nun was singing as in years past and she has never disappointed with her clear and beautiful voice. I made no attempt to take any photos because I already have as many as I need from previous years. And as has always happened in the past, the botafumeiro was swung. I love the music that is sung during the swing and called into the cathedral shop to ask if I could buy a recording. But there isn’t one – I shall have to take a look online – the piece is called ‘Himno al Apóstol’.

After the service I sat in a bar behind ththe cathedral sipping a glass (or two) of fresh cool white wine, listening to the very chilled guitar music being played by the same guy as always, weirdly wearing a black mask. On reflection perhaps the mask is a guise to make us think it is always the same guy playing, but he is actually interchangeable without anyone knowing. Whatever – the guitar music is excellent and just perfect for the situation. As I was gazing around I noticed Kathleen and Stacy, the two English women who I talked at for so long a couple of nights ago. They joined me at the table and I was able to listen to them for a change.

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I couldn’t quite bring myself to return to the albergue and just wandered the streets for a couple of hours. Santiago is a great place for wandering. I was on the lookout for Niki because we hadn’t been able to make contact electronically to organise a meet. I sauntered to the park for a view of the cathedral spires. I am so glad that for my first visit to Santiago in 2013 the repair work on the cathedral had not begun, so I was able to enjoy it to its fullest. Any pilgrims who have arrived in the city since that time must have been very disappointed to see this beautiful building swaddled in scaffolding and hoardings.

Then I went to find the new Pilgrims’ Office to investigate the length of the queue (2 hours – I didn’t wait). On the way, a woman who was walking towards me stopped to speak – ‘Are you Maggie?’ she asked. ‘Do you write a blog?’ She had recognised me from photos on the blog. I was amazed and delighted. She had been cycling the Camino Portuguese and had found the blog useful. Fancy that.

I didn’t find Niki in the end, but now that we both have wifi, we can arrange to meet tomorrow. And in the evening I will be meeting with Alan and Alex from day 1, and with Carsten who joined this group a few days later. I am very much looking forward to meeting all these guys.

I am shortly off to meet Super George for supper. It’s quite a social whirl in Santiago!

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Norte, Camino Ingles, Ruta do Mar and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Day 35, Camino Ingles, Sigüero to Santiago de Compostela 17.2 km

  1. Vivien Bloor says:

    Bom Caminho…..as they say in Portugal. What an amazing moment meeting you today. I had such a strong feeling it was you! I have so enjoyed reading your Portuguese Camino journey (it was helpful for us). Then following you along the Camino del norte…where we will travel next. Thank you for being so gracious at my interruption to your day’s arrival in Santiago. A very special time and place. Keep writing, keep walking…kind regards, Vivien ⛪🌸🌼🌷☀

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  2. ingridfolkers says:

    Congratulations Maggie… well done. Ingrid

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  3. DeniseG says:

    I’m really going to miss your blog each day. Couldn’t you keep going?
    I’ll be following your footsteps starting June 23 in Irun. I walked the CF last year at this time. Your blog has been very helpful. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share.

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks for your comment Denise. I am very glad the blog has been useful to you. There will be a few more relat d posts to come so stay tuned. And I wish you Buen Camino for your Camino Frances.

      Like

  4. Anita Lopez says:

    So happy to hear you are in Santiago, I agree with everything you said about the pilgrims mass and especially about the Nun she has a wonderful voice for me she is the highlight of the mass. Things must have got really busy in the pilgrims office since we were there on the 1st May we hardly had a wait. Our friend Dennis from California who we met last year on the Camino was also arriving in Santiago today after walking from SJPDP hope everyone is having a great time. Relax and look forward to home.

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  5. Such an upbeat day. Wonderful you’re meeting up with pilgrims you’ve connected with along the way. I think it’s wonderful the cycling pilgrim recognized you. Oh my! ❤ 🙂

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  6. Karon says:

    Well done Maggie! I also loved Santiago, after bussing it to Finisterre and returning the same day it felt like coming home!

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  7. Heather says:

    Congratulations Maggie. How does it feel? Do you feel relieved or sad that it has ended and will there be another? I’m sure, after a rest you will be planning something. Hope all goes well for Rosie’s wedding. Give her my love. Maybe we’ll have a chance to catch up when you are here. Love Heather xxx

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  8. David says:

    “Well done” Enjoy your time in Santiago meeting friends that you have met on your Camino this time and in the past.
    I’m so looking forward to welcoming you home on Saturday. David xx😊❤️😉

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  9. Tony Pulle says:

    Hello Maggie, Congratulations on completing another Camino, I can feel the thrill of seeing the Botofumirio as I recall the experience some years ago. I know the point from where your photo of the three domes was take. The incivility you had to cope with is a sad reflection of the times we live in. Well done.
    Tony

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  10. You did it! A Zorionak from Bilbao 🙂

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  11. Renate says:

    You did it again!

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  12. Nadine says:

    Congratulations on another Camino! I so loved following your journey, thank you, again, for taking the time to share your adventure with us all.

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  13. Carlos PEBENITO says:

    Congratulations!!! Been following you! I did the French Way last year and planned on doing the Portuguese next year; however, the numerous steep ascents is very discouraging plus the soggy trails must be very uncomfortable and challenging so I may just do the Camino Francés again. Btw, your photos are amazing! What camera did you use?

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    • Carlos PEBENITO says:

      Sorry I meant Camino del Norte not Portuguese

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Carlos. Any of the caminos will be muddy if there is a lot of rain. I remember lots of mud on the Frances. It all depends on the weather and how many feet have churned up the mud before you get there. I’m sure you would be OK with the steep climbs, just take them slowly and keep stopping to take s breath. I wrote about the camera here

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  14. Maureen Gillespie says:

    ¡Maravillosa! xx

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  15. George Gosling says:

    Super George says.
    Just had a lovely long dinner with Maggie and Thomas, my grandson, had a quick review of our Camino’s and rehashed some past experiences.
    For those who have never met Maggie believe me she is a real lovely person.
    Safe journey home Maggie.
    October ???
    Poor/Super George

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    • magwood says:

      It was lovely to see you George and I think Thomas is a lovely young man, a real gentleman in the making. You’ll be on your way back to the UK right now, enjoy your home comforts, and keep your mind off the Camino for a few months!

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  16. Brian says:

    Congratulations on another Camino completion! Your daily blog has been a delightful start to each day down under – I’ll miss waking to your latest pics and descriptions: the spires, nun’s singing, incense, botofumeiro et al elicit the same response for me too. Thank you for sharing!!
    Brian

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks for your company along the way Brian. Always a pleasure to know you are taking an interest. It’s funny how such a brief acquaintance can mean a great deal.

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  17. Henk Slabbekoorn says:

    Congratulations on coming home in Santiago! But, please, do not forget to check your legs for the places where the ticks attacked you. If you see red spots or rings, or feel something like a light fever during the next three months–please do not hesitate to visit a doctor because once Lyme’s disease is getting hold on you, you might as well forget any next camino. Please!
    And never again go that close to a venomenous snake like an adder, even though the pictures are really nice. Why play with your life and leave us bereft of a very appreciated blogger and friend?

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    • magwood says:

      Many thanks Henk for your words of wisdom, and for all the really useful comments you have made on the blog – each one most appreciated. I will keep an eye on the tick sites. And as for the snake, I would have been rather more careful if I had realised it was venomous. I was rather close to it. But it was so small it didn’t occur to me that it could do me any harm, and it looked a lot more afraid of me than I did of it. But nevertheless I heed your advice and will be more careful in future.

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  18. Conchy says:

    Maggie, I am going to miss your daily blogs on the Camino! Thanks for writing them. I enjoyed them very much, and felt like I was walking with you. You have a way of writing and then the photos round up the ideas. They were beautiful. Think about doing a book with the photos.
    Have a safe trip home.

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  19. lynharrison4wind says:

    Very well walked, written and photographed, again. Good one, Maggie.

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  20. Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed following you and have learned lots. Thank you!
    Clare

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  21. Tony Dickin says:

    Well done. I’ve done many long distance treks in Europe but yet to achieve the 900 km mark in one go. So many places to walk so don’t expect to do the Camino more than once. The Camino Frances sounds like one long tourist trail while the Los Caminos del Norte didn’t sound very inspiring (have just finished Jean-Christophe Rufins’s The Santiago Pilgrimage, which describes the Norte). If you were only going to do the Camino once, which route would you take? I know it’s subjective but appreciate the voice of experience. Again, well done. The beauty and personal fulfilment of long distance trekking is a wonderful thing. Happy trails, Tony

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Tony, and thanks for your comment. Of course I only have experience of four caminos and there are many, many more. But of the ones I have walked, the Mozarabe from Malaga would rate the highest (and by far the longest). The variety of terrain and fabulous cities made it very special. Of course all experiences are enhanced (or not) by the people one meets along the way and I also made many good friends on this route.

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  22. Jo Kennedy says:

    Well done Maggie, thanks for letting us tag along on your journey. Brings back fabulous memories! 🙂
    Jo – NZ

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  23. Jeannette Burgos-Rigó says:

    Well done Maggie!!!!, I’ll miss you, I’m very grateful for your blog it’s so helpful in every way.
    I’m leaving on Sunday. I wish all the best. Hugs

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Jeannette. You must be very excited about your own Camino coming so soon. I wish you all the very best and a huge ‘Buen Camino’.

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  24. rba says:

    Congratulations to you! I have followed your blog every day, and I commend you, you’re quite the lady. Reading your blog every day hearing how you approach the Camino has changed the way I will approach my next Camino the Portuguese route. Even though I completed the previous Caminos I’ve learned so much by following your blog. Once again please except my sincere congratulations on your accomplishment!

    Buen Camino,
    rba

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  25. Hey Maggie, way to go! You certainly took the way less travelled this Camino. I hope you have a great time reconnecting with your pilgrim friends. Soon you’ll be home and reliving this Camino in your memories. That’s very cool that you’ve reached celebrity status (being recognized on the street). I would know you as well. Take care dear pilgrim and thanks for all your blogging and wonderful photos. xo

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Thanks Sandy. It has been a great experience that has taught me a lot. I think I had better make the most of the ‘celebrity status’ – I don’t suppose it will ever happen again!

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  26. Margaret Gardner says:

    Congratulations on another successful Camino. As always a delight to read and such wonderful photography. x

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  27. Genny H. Plank says:

    One more feather in your Camino cap! Thank you for sharing your friends, pictures, observations and musings. Like all who followed you on this journey, it was a most pleasant ride. Congratulations!

    Like

  28. Christine & Malcolm says:

    Congratulations on finishing your Camino Maggie, we followed your blog every day and was a sheer delight to read your adventures. So glad you stayed safe! Look forward to seeing you as we’re sure David is too xx

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  29. mary lynch says:

    Well done you Super Woman. I’m delighted you had such a wonderful Camino. I’ve enjoyed reading all about it and will miss it and your gorgeous photos. No doubt David will post details of how to donate to Cudeca? You deserve to raise a large amount of money for such a superb effort. Much love Maggie, keep us posted. xx

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    • magwood says:

      Mary, thanks for reminding me. I will speak to the office and make sure I have the correct details before making a post about fundraising. We are also collecting for Save the Children

      Like

  30. Susanita Kay says:

    Congratulations on finishing another Camino Maggie. I followed your blog for a few years now since my own Camino. I was delighted to also have the privilege reading about this last adventure. The Camino is calling me, and after all the back operations I want and will walk the Camino next year but only from Sarria.
    My husband is making me a very special walker that I can use for my backpack and to rest on. I know and understand that the going will be tough and very slow but I will get to Santiago on my own time, because Santiago will wait for me.
    Again Congratulations it is truly a privilege to walk on once own

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Susanita, I am in awe of your bravery and determination. I truly hope that the camino will bring you all you wish for. Walking into Santiago will be a very special moment for you.
      Buen Camino!

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  31. Jennifer Corney says:

    Well done Maggie a wonderful achievement

    Jenny and Andy

    On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 6:32 PM, Trepidatious traveller – camino blog wrote:

    > magwood posted: ” Total distance 971.8 km Daily average 27.8 Today’s > accumulated uphill elevation 208 m Today’s accumulated downhill elevation > 177 m Yesterday’s hospitalera who I presume is called Chisca, was worth her > high charges in entertainment value. She ” >

    Like

  32. wanda Makela says:

    I am so happy I found your blog as it has inspired me and I am looking forward to following in your footsteps in another two weeks. But, I will not walk as many steps each day as you. You are amazing and the details and photos are just wonderful. So very happy for you! Thank you for sharing.

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