June 2, 2017
Today as always was a little emotional. This is the third time I have walked into Santiago. Our day started in a local bar. I was up early so I had a chance to have two cafe con leche’s this morning. A treat and delicious. I met a couple of pilgrims from South Africa. They were on day 36 on the French route. It was fun to talk to them. The bar owner drew faces in their cafe con leche’s a nice touch. On our walk today I came across a good size group of Aussies. Since I have such a fondness for my good friends down under I spent some time chatting with a few (being shy and all I really had to put myself out there, lol). I spent a good amount of time talking to a couple from Brisbane. His name was David and he is apparently an internationally recognized neonatologist. Having published over 160 articles and papers according to his wife Carol, Most of our talk was about wine. A topic that I can hold my own in. We talked about wines from Australia and California. David had lived in San Francisco for a year doing specialty training at UCSF med school and had an affinity for Sonoma and Mendocino county Zinfandel. We talked about wineries as they had invested in one in Margaret River in Australia. It was a good conversation.
Then it was time to make the final push into Santiago. We walked all 27k pretty fast with only one quick stop after 20k. For many in our group it was their first time walking into the Cathedral square. As always there were tears and hugs of joy. We took some great pictures together and then headed to the pilgrims office to get our Compostela’s. When we got there the line circled the courtyard. Most of our group did not stay as they could go the next morning with less of a line. I need to stay as did Manolo and Iratxe since we were all leaving tonight. After an hour and twenty minutes I finally got my Compostela.
We all met up in the square to go to lunch. Before we did Iñaki let me take a shower in his room. A blessing as I stunk pretty bad after a long fast walk. Then off to lunch we went. It was great to have one last meal together. After lunch we headed to the Cathedral. I wanted to at least take a few minutes and give thinks for the opportunity to be able to walk into Santiago again. I love that Cathedral. Then I headed for the airport and my flight to Madrid which is were I am now.