The day broke clear for our final steps to the Cathedral in Santiago. Viewed on a map, this was always the goal . But the destinations within each of us were many, varied, and often different than what had been “planned”.

Our hotelier provided us with a nice breakfast and heartfelt wishes for the day and the future. Irene and Manuela left early but not without departing embraces. We walked the final 12 km with our Canadian friends, Tom and Nanci, alternating between periods of conversation and the silence of contemplation. 14 days, 250 km, and approximately 420,000 steps…

The entry into the Cathedral square was familiar, and I couldn’t help but look for the faces from 2013… Kris, Maggie,Jacobien , Henk, Christine and Gaby, Roberto, Jack, Jenny…. you were among those in my thoughts and carried in my heart from that Camino. You are now joined by the 2018 members of my Camino family. Also with me in spirit were each of you who have followed our progress through my “Thoughts”, a number that passed 10,000 visits to those posts on that day.

The line of pilgrims waiting to receive their Compostela was intimidating, but the efficient Pilgrim’s Office had us in and out in 45 minutes. Somehow, the woman who greeted me at the counter was able to look into my eyes and extend her hand to me, “Congratulations and welcome, sir.” as if I were the only reason that she was there.

Certificates in hand, the four of us adjourned to a nearby cafe to toast our accomplishment. Out of the thousands of pilgrims milling about emerged some who we had met on The Way, notably Faris and Stanislaw, our friends from Germany. Absent were Ina and Reiner who returned home earlier in the day, and Kirsti, Sirkka, and Jim, who we still hope to see. We planned to meet for dinner and I to celebrate with my favorite Galicia dish, Pulpo (grilled octopus).

Today, May 4th, we will attend the Pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral. Perhaps they will swing the Botafumeiro. They will announce at Mass the number of Peregrinos who entered Santiago yesterday, the places that we are from, and where we started the journey as viewed on a map. Of course, the starting places within each of us were many, varied, and often found to be different than what we once believed.

Peace Everyone. Pete

PS. We fly to Dublin Ireland on Sunday and start the next chapter of this Journey. Until then I will likely take a 2 day vacation from my thoughts. Thank you for following.

24 thoughts on “May 3rd. Santiago de Compostela.

  1. Christine Teter says:

    Wow, I have a million questions chasing each other around in my head (I read every word you write, even though I have made no comment on this particular trip.)

    First of all, please tell Christine she looks amazing in that hat! I ❤️ her in that hat!

    Secondly, I have to ask the only question that REALLY matters – how do you take a vacation from your thoughts? I picture you escorting them into a large, comfortable room, and saying you’ll be back for them in about 48 hours. Please enjoy the comforts of this room, but don’t get too silly while I’m gone.

    Lastly, congratulations on completing your Camino. God bless you and Christine.

  2. Sharon Reynolds says:

    Congratulations, Pete and Christine! My husband, Buddy and I have greatly enjoyed following your walk. So much so, that we are both looking forward to our own walk on the Camino in the future! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Susan George says:

    Pete and Christine, you both emanate an inner and outer peace in these wonderful pictures of this journey’s end. To have followed you on this amazing pilgrimage has been a fulfilling experience for those who have read every day of the new friends, amazing sites and expressions of feelings about both. Thank you for your vast knowledge of places and sharing your innermost thoughts. Your every day joy as a couple and as individuals is an inspiration. Take a break… is well deserved, Pete! Looking forward to the next leg of this adventure! God bless you both.

  4. Tom Grimaldi says:

    Your journey — and your daily blog of pictures and words — have touched the heart and minds of all us. You have experienced the spirituality of the Camino, and the skill of your writing and photography has allowed us all to share your experience. Thank you.

  5. Meeting Kris on your first Camino gave me the chance to meet you and Christine and spend valuable time with both of you and your friends and family. Enjoy the rest of your journey.

  6. Ann Rutledge says:

    Pete and Christine
    Thank you again for another adventure. I remember the day so well when we entered into Santiago on our 1st Camino in 2016. So looking forward to following in your footsteps in 2019.
    May you be Blessed on your trip to Ireland. A beautiful country and hoping your dream comes true of the pub owner offering you accommodation for the night !

  7. Pauline Schloss says:

    Peter and Chris–congratulations on another accomplishment–wish I could have been there to give you a hug. You are truly blessed. You have touched so many lives in a meaningful way–you are excellent ambassadors for Americans. (What are your thoughts on how Americans are viewed–other than you??” You give me great pride.

    • Your question… We are viewed as unusual for Americans. America is viewed internationally in the shadow of our 45th President as a country that elected a buffoon who is comically dangerous, amoral, and xenophobic. As a country we are no longer seen as the leader of the free world. I’m glad you asked, and I’m sorry that you asked.

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