As we set out for Santiago, we were torn. We were glad that the daily long walks would be over but also felt a sense of losing the constant anticipation about where the next walk would take us. But isn’t that what each day, regardless of our stage in life, and where we live, is? The past is done; hopefully, we all have treasured memories and lessons learned. The present is the moment that we can’t predict but should be experienced openly and attentively. The future is a fuzzy canvass in which broad strokes of wishful thoughts may be set in pencil but could easily be erased and re-drawn.
During the Camino, Doris Day’s singing of “Que Sera, Sera” kept popping up in my mind. My mother used to play that song when I was a boy. DD sang it in Hitchcock’s movie, the Man Who Knew Too Much. That was the first movie my parents took me to at the Bards near the corner of Adams and Crenshaw, our neighborhood theater. Until 2019 when I did ohenro (88Temples), I did not appreciate what those three words meant. Here’s to you, Doris Day.
We were under 15 miles. Santiago was just over the horizon after approximately 208 miles by our count (final total) not including the ten touring Baiona on our rest day. Our first stone Galician sign was seen on Day 7 as we left A Guarda (159 km). Each day was a day but now that week seemed to be a mere blink. More than most of our daily segments, this one zigged zagged through small villages, farms, and forest. We saw many different examples of Galician granaries including one being built. In a 10 minute span, we joined several fellow pilgrims excitedly making their way to Santiago before dispersing into smaller groups traveling at their own pace. At a bend in the road, we stopped in a church in which a man stamped passports. A Xi’an warrior looked out at us – part of an international company of Camino guardians? The Pope does have his Swiss Guards.
We stopped for lunch where they did not accept Laird’s Burger King coupons. As expected, we finally arrived in Santiago. Of course, the Cathedral was at the top of the hill. We had a long 1.5 mile climb through a built up modern city in order to reach old city. We were able to enter part of the church. We went down to view the tomb of St. James. I lit some candles next to the sanctuary to give thanks for a safe journey and thoughts for my family and friends, past and present. We walked around the old city as night fell. By a busy pedestrian street, we sat and shared a beer. We missed seeing Jennifer and John from Canada. Perhaps the Invisible Hand was busy.
Tomorrow, we plan to check in with the office that issues Compestellas (certificates of completing the Camino) and then immerse ourselves in the city. The Camino was a journey well spent. Thanks for sharing it with us.
In a few days, we will post a final blog with further reflections from the two of us including helpful hints about preparing for the Camino, hotels, and so on.