Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feb 2, 2013 Arca to Santiago de Compostela


We made it!

Last night in Arca we gathered with some Spanish friends and held a sort of farewell dinner. Our cook, James, made a nice pasta sauce, and served it over spaghetti. Wine was the other course. It was close to 9:45 when dinner broke up ( the wine ran out), and we all ambled off to our bunks. We had agreed to leave around 7:00 to ensure we could cover the 20 kms to Santiago, and be there for the noon pilgrim mass. The albergue was pretty crowded (about 24 pilgrims) for this time of year. Somehow we all got up early and got out the door about 6:45. It was still raining, but was more showery than steady rain. On went the ponchos and off we went out of town to pick up the Camino route. This first section of today's walk leads through a forest that is not that well marked to begin with. I should have remembered that from our last Camino. We picked up the route as it entered the forest, but it almost immediately came to a fork. The left side looked the most promising, but after a bit of probing we could not locate any markers to confirm our hunch. It was also very dark, wet and muddy. We regrouped and decided to backtrack to the main road and walk that to the next village, and rejoin the Camino there. So, that was how it played out. We walked the road, for a bit, avoided most of the boggy mud, and eventually found ourselves climbing up on good, reasonably dry path. As this was our last leg, and we wanted to be sure to make the noon mass, we stepped on the gas a bit. We walked into the old city, through the Plaza Cervantes, down the north side of the cathedral, and into Plaza Obradoiro, to the front of the cathedral, at about 11:15.

Gracias a Dios

We offered our thanks, and prayers, and then moved off to the Pilgrim Office to get our Compostellas (certificate of completion). So with Compostellas now in hand, we headed to the cathedral for mass with 15 minutes to spare. We are now tucked into our new albergue, the Hotel Carris Casa de La Troya. This a small hotel just a few steps from the Plaza Cervantes. No plans other than to sleep. Tuesday we are off to Finisterre, and then Muxia. We then are considering walking the Camino Ingles (5 days Ferrol to Santiago). We will update our blog as WiFi becomes available after Santiago.

A very special thank you to everyone who has followed this Camino on our blog, offered encouragement or simply left a comment or two. All those seemingly small things become very important especially on those days when you think you are mad to be doing this. We shall press on, and keep posting. Ultreia!

A special thank you to Rebekah Scott, your boots made it!
Our "albergue" in Santiago




  1. Havr read your blog every day as I mentally prepare for my 1st visit to the Camino (at Easter). Well done on getting there and I loved your style of writing! BOH (Ireland)

  2. Congratulations to you both. What an achievement to walk in winter time. You deserve a lengthy warm bath. May our warm thoughts suffice. Buen Camino for sure. J&S

  3. It's been great following your exploits. Congratulations. There were definitely some challenging moments in your winter Camino, but it sounds like you are both in very good form. By the way, I stayed in a pension a few metres down the street from you on the other side of the street. Very handy position!

  4. Well done!! Even though I've walked the Frances as well, I couldn't wait to read your updates! Enjoy the rest, you've earned it! Blessings to you both!

  5. well done-I have enjoyed following your steps through familiar settings never before seen covered in so much snow,This old bird waits for warmer climes.

  6. Congratulations! I just found your blog and I am enjoying reading about your adventure. We are walking in April and May and have been debating whether to start in St. Jean or Roncesvalles. We are leaning toward St. Jean and I found your reason for beginning there compelling.
    We will be blogging on
    Best wishes for a good trip home.

  7. I am glad you will be continuing your journey. I enjoy reading your blog even better than sports pages. Hope you continue until the start of the baseball season.

  8. As treat go to Cedros ( Cedar tree) looks like Kebabs but has excellent Thai Rice & noodels at rua Villar old part of city

  9. What a beautiful narrative of a courageous walk. Last year I walked SJPP to Astorga, and I will go back to Astorga and finish to Santiago this March. Seeing that you made it in January and February makes me feel brave about facing the colder temps. Thanks for your account.