SUCH A BRILLIANT HOLIDAY. I CANNOT BELIEVE WE WALKED SO FAR!
The Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago) is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in North West Spain where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.
Here we are at the beginning of the walk and all looking so clean and not tired!
The scallop shell symbolises that many places reach the same point. St James is reputed to have arrived in a boat at Finisterre, and the shell reminds pilgrims that the Camino is his pilgrimage.
This is typical of the Camino route; undulating and dusty; also hot in summer.
A rest along the route, much-needed, as were cold drinks and cafe (con leche and solo!)
Our leader, Nigel, was very attentive to our needs for rest and relaxation as well as encouraging us not to attempt the route too quickly!
Passing the pilgrim statue, we were reminded that many many people before us had walked this route for centuries.
Some villagers playing the bagpipes along the route. This was bizarre but commonplace.
We reached Cathedral Square, Compostela! We were so proud of ourselves in spite of being footsore and weary. 140 miles have been travelled on foot!
Passports showing the stamps we collected en route. To gain a certificate you had to have at least 2 stamps a day, dated, and to have walked at least the last 100 kms to Santiago.
The final certificate! We all gained one. Half of the group to successfully complete the Compostela was over 70; the other half just a little younger!!
It was a wonderful experience for all, culminating in the attendance of the Pilgrims’ Mass in Santiago Cathedral. This was a very moving experience, as there were pilgrims of all ages and nationalities attending.
We have to thank Nigel, our guide, who carefully nurtured us through this experience and with whom we enjoyed some fun times! He was excellent.