The next stretch of my walk took me into Galicia which is an are of frequent rain showers and thunderstorms. Galicia too poor to provide much employment for it’s large family structures and changed the dynamics considerably with men leaving for the city and woman running the farms and businesses. It never ceases to amaze how we as humans adapt when the need arises. I am so drawn to this beautiful are that has lost its material wealth but has so much spiritual wealth with all it’s traditions intact. I find myself walking through enchanted forests in the pouring, along streams and rivers flooding their banks waiting for fairies and elves to make their appearance. Almost like living in a fairy tale
My body is wet and cold for the umpteenth time and yet I glow with an inner warmth as I sit under a dripping chestnut tree contemplating the craziness of it all. Just a few more km till I get to Sarria and then I only have 100km to go.
The business and masses of pilgrims hit me like a ton of bricks on arrival in Sarria. All you need to get a Compostella certificate, is to have walked at least 100km so the prospective pilgrims are arriving in their busloads. I left early in the mornings to avoid this ever-increasing annoyance.
My last night had finally arrived and I was restless and hardly slept. Consumed with expectations and excitement I left in total darkness and the freezing cold to walk my last 20km to Santiago. Walking through totally deserted Eucalyptus forests I found myself laughing out loud and wiping away the tears as memories of the last month flashed through my mind. The first sight of Santiago brought on another flood of tears, joy, absolute sadness, a sense of pride and utter wonder. I walked into Santiago behind a group of Spanish students singing, shouting and laughing, on an absolute high, humbled and in awe of what I had accomplished.
Tears where still flowing freely on most of the pilgrim’s face as the walked into the Cathedral to attend the mass and say thanks. Finally, when the Giant Botafumeiro (Incense Burner) which takes 6 men to swing and was originally used to fumigate the sweaty pilgrims, the reality of how far I had come sunk in and I was consumed with such a sense of accomplishment and utter joy – A heightened state of sensitivity and awareness.
I had completed My Camino all 860km of it and then some – YAY!!!!