Stage 32 – O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostella 19.5 km

Well…what can I say. I have arrived to Santiago for the fifth time. The magic remains, but is tempered a bit by the increasing number of tour groups and beggars one has to negotiate. I had high hopes that the cathedral might be ‘unwrapped’ this year, but alas, it remains swaddled in scaffolding and plastic netting. I am so very pleased that when I arrived the first time in 2013 the restoration work had not yet begun and I could admire it (her) in all her glory. I feel sorry for pilgrims arriving for the first time and not having that beautiful treat. But I’ve not heard anyone complain about it so perhaps it’s not such a big deal for others.

I was successful in securing a bed at the Hospidaria San Martin Pinerio for my night in Santiago – what was once a monastery and is now a posh hotel with the top floor given over to inexpensive accommodation for pilgrims. It is in an extremely central position, opposite the east? (could be any direction, – I’m sure someone reading this will know and advise me…please) door of the cathedral, but as I knew it would be, the accommodation is extremely basic. A twin room with ensuite, shared with Marilyn, is 40 euros. There are beautiful spaces on the ground floor, cloisters, common areas and restaurant and the receptionists are extremely pleasant and helpful. But I think I would have preferred my usual albergue ‘The Last Stamp’ which is designed with pilgrims in mind, rather than designed for the very meagre needs of monks many centuries ago. But I am very pleased that I have been there and done it and can make an informed decision next time.

I caught up with Marilyn this morning, and it was lovely to exchange notes on the last few days, but having walked at my own pace for three days I soon felt the need to stride ahead. As I passed a bar I heard my name called and turned back to find the lovely spanish guy Antolino waving at me, so I stopped for an orange juice. And then when at the outskirts of Santiago I met a Canadian guy I first came across on his first day walking out of Oviedo.

After a very dark start to the day, it was lovely to see Marilyn’s surprise when I caught up with her.

I spent some time after arriving organising a proxy vote for the forthcoming general election in the UK and am crossing my fingers that the form will arrive on time (I will have no right to complain about UK politics if I haven’t voted – and I am sure there will be plenty to complain about in the coming months/years). I attended the noon pilgrims’ mass at the cathedral and then set about finding liquid sustenance as befits a pilgrim who has just walked 870 km up and down and around Spain.

Tonight and tomorrow is party time in Santiago. I’m not sure what the party is in aid of, but there is an absolutely huge stage set up in Praza da Quintana de Morton (the square behind the cathedral) and the guy in the post office told me that tomorrow was a fiesta day (so don’t expect any mail to get mailed!)

And today has been extremely hot. When I arrived in Santiago at 10:30 the sun had already been at full strength for an hour, and humidity was high. I wandered around the city for a while and bought a few supplies for the next day all the time trying to keep in the shade. The doors of the cathedral beckoned and I was lured into a deep and cool space. I sat once again on a pew, but this time without all the pushing and shoving that surrounds the pilgrims’ mass. It felt like heaven, but an unpure thought crept into my mind – that a bottle of cava and a fine champagne flute would have raised the game a few notches. As I sat there, it seemed a bit wrong that the wide open double doors from the Praza de Quintana funnelled the racket of the band’s sound check into the space where a couple of hours earlier the nun with the perfect voice had been singing during the mass.

There were arrangements to meet our camigos at 18:00 and we were a group of Spanish, Peruvian, French, German, South African and English who gathered in front of the cathedral for a photo opportunity, before moving on to find a drink and then a bite to eat. I led the charge to Casa Manolo, where there is offered a quick and very plentiful service. To be honest this place more suits a male appetite, being very quick, very plentiful and a bit greasy for my taste. I found that the weight of the food was having a bad effect on my system and felt suddenly very tired and a little sickly. I bade final farewells to some very special friends and returned to the hospidaria, thinking that I would get a couple of hours sleep and then perhaps go out and join the party for a while. But that didn’t happen. Instead I inserted the ear plugs against the music and zonked!

So, apologies that this post didn’t get posted on the right day. This peregrina was totally exhausted.

Today’s distance 19.5 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 198 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 224 m
Total distance 866.5 km
Average per day 27 km

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 Madrid, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Salvador, Camino Primitivo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Stage 32 – O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostella 19.5 km

  1. caminojakke says:

    Well done! I still have 200 km to go on the Sanabrés. Enjoying it, though!

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  2. CHRISTOPHER IAN MORBEY says:

    Dear Margaret,
    Congratulations once again on your wonderful achievement!
    However I am sad as I followed your daily blog with great interest seeing remote parts of Spain that sadly I will never see and your commentary was always exciting and your was photography was fantastic. Yes I am sad as it has come to an end. However I am sure David will be happy to have you back again.
    Thank you for everything and very best wishes,
    Christopher an Ambleatorio!

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  3. Conchy says:

    Thank you, Maggie for your wonderful blog. I am going to miss it after today. I feel like I have walked with you on each Camino, and it has uplifted me. Keep blogging please. Your vision of Spain is really awsome. God bless you and keep you healthy. Conchy from Puerto Rico

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  4. meg says:

    Congratulations Maggie…for the 5th time….yes, I too stayed at Hospidaria San Martin Pinerio—and my roommate got bit by the bed bugs…unfortunately….so they changed our room (we stayed 2 notes before going onto Finnesterre)….the receptionist and hotel personnel were wonderful…ENJOY and again….congrats on your journey!

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  5. Mave Moore says:

    Well done again Maggie, you are amazing. Safe journey home. Mave x

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  6. Jeannette says:

    Well done Maggie, I followed you day by day. Thank you for your lovely description and pisc but mostly for the great inspiration you gave to us. So long and enjoy the fiesta. Hugs

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  7. Congrats on making it to Santiago again 🙂 Buen camino 😉

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  8. JoAl says:

    Well done Maggie. A grand achievement. And no rest days. Enjoyed you stories and photographs. x

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  9. Christine & Malcolm says:

    Congratulations on another safe Camino my friend! It’s been an absolute pleasure to read your daily blogs but now looking forward to our hugs when we next see each other xx

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  10. Mary Lynch says:

    Maggie I’m thrilled for you. You are wonder woman. I loved your blog and shall miss it very much. I assume David is collecting money for Cudeca for your amazing effort? I will be delighted to donate for all your fantastic words and photos. Much love xxx

    Like

  11. Pat says:

    Congratulations on walking all those kilometres, job well done! Your blog has been very enjoyable and in spite of the struggle, I know it can be at times, your attitude has been very positive. Truly an inspiration!

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  12. kathyfoote says:

    Congratulations! Your blog has been a wonderful mind trip to the other side of the planet and has brought wonderful memories and strong yearnings. The second time I walked, in 2015, I snagged a pilgrim rate room at the Paradore – what a treat!! Just for a night or two, then onto regular cheap pilgrim digs until it was time to return home. i also saw the Cathedral in 2013, uncovered, and am glad I did. The things I discovered about myself and about humanity in general while on my pilgrimages are lessons I use every day, to this day. Been Camino, my friend.

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  13. Denise Germer says:

    Congratulations! I have been looking forward to your posts each day and will miss them when you stop walking. I look forward to your next adventure and beautiful photos of Spain.

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  14. Brigitte Harre says:

    Fantastic Blog Maggie, thinking of doing exact route next year, but at a much slower pace!

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  15. janpow123 says:

    ¡Enhorabuena!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations, Maggie! I feel the same bittersweetness I have always felt upon arriving in Santiago (3x now by foot). I will miss following your wonderful blog which I have looked forward to reading each morning. What a wonderful, very long walk! And beautiful pictures and insights. Thank you!

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  17. M. Charlotte Lewall says:

    I will miss your updates! Your photography is exceptional and I have thoroughly enjoyed your visual narrative (the written one too, but those pictures are so good!). My plan in August/September (and a bit) is to include the Camino Fisterrra…I am tidying up loose ends of caminos almost walked…but I have started to annotate my guides with your information…blessings on your head peregrina, and congratulations on a road well walked…maybe one day we can walk a step or two together…

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  18. Margot Collins says:

    Well done Maggi. You are inspirational. I really enjoyed your blog and always delighted to read each night that you were still going strong and arriving safely to the next albergue. I walked the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon using your blog – I feel a bit of a parasite! But thanks so much, it was better than any guide. No doubt I will use one of your other blogs in the future. Take good care of yourself, have a good rest. All the very best. I feel sad tonight … but look forward to hearing from you.

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  19. I will add my congratulations to everyone else’s! A wonderful walk narrated by an engaging blogger! I must admit when I fired up my computer yesterday morning and your blog wasn’t there, I did let out a sigh of disappointment!! Now what am I going to read every morning??? 😉 No pressure of course!! 😉

    I think the fact that you have so many loyal readers longing for your next post that this is the perfect excuse to start planning your next trip! Buen Camino. Mel

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  20. lynharrison4wind says:

    Indeed a grand achievement yet again. The walking. The blog. The unfailing humour and compassion shared with us all. Well done and a big thank-you. Very glad to read about the Big Zonk. A wee sign of human fraility at long last. Love you to pieces.

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  21. David Wolfe says:

    Well done Maggie and congratulations on your achievement reaching Santiago only another 135 km to walk. I don’t think an early night is a sign of fragility but common sense after such a full day. Hi Mary I am collecting for Cudeca and will contact you next week.

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  22. Lee Wakelin says:

    You are such an inspiration, Maggie, and your posts are filled with excellent information and wonderful photographs! I WILL walk again, and it will be thanks to you! Congratulations!!!
    Enjoy your walk to the coast!

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  23. Hi Mags,

    congratulations and a great job writing so much while you walk – I planned on that one year but found myself so exhausted each evening I did little.

    Leslie

    Like

  24. cphilippen says:

    Hey Maggie!!! You made it already to Santiago!! 🙂
    Congratulations to you and the whole gang!

    Though we skipped the Salvador, I didn’t make it and had to take the last 120 km via bus.
    But that was okay…next time…Santiago again!!

    Hugs!
    Carsten

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