At the Cathedral in Santiago at noon each day there is a mass held honoring pilgrims. This cathedral has the largest Botafumeiro in the world. The Botafumeiro is the most famous and popular symbol of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is a large incense burner that hangs from the ceiling of the Cathedral and swings back and forth during mass. It takes eight men to swing it using ropes four on one side and four on the other. The men pull on the ropes. You can see the fire burning inside of the Botafumeiro.
I decided the night before reaching Santiago that I would need to leave by 4:30am if I was going to reach Santiago in time for the pilgrim's mass. The lady I had been walking with didn't think she wanted to get up that early, so a man that I had met several times in the past week said he would like to go with me if I would wait until 5:30. He thought we could make it by noon. It was 12 miles to Santiago and raining. I said okay.
I woke him at 5:00am and we prepared to leave. He was from Budapest, Hungary and had blisters all over his feet. He had to stop walking for three days and that's when I caught up with him. We left the alburgue at 5:30 as planned. It was dark outside and raining. We arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago at 11:00am. I went immediately inside the church and sat down on the third row, directly in front. I sat there one hour waiting on the mass to start. I sat there and rested and thought about the walk and how I had actually completed it. My journey was over. I took my shoes off and rested my poor feet. When the mass started and we had to stand up I had to put my shoes back on. I couldn't stand on my feet without my shoes on. They hurt so bad.
After the mass I hooked back up with my friend from Australia. For the next week we shopped and enjoyed Santiago. We rode the bus to Finnesterre and saw the ocean. I returned home on May 5, 2015. It took me 44 days to complete my walk. I started on March 14th and reached Santiago on April 26th. It was an experience of a life-time.
You can see the steeple of the Cathedral. This is the first glimpse I got of the Cathedral. I had been walking for 44 days and the site of this steeple was something I can't explain. I had to stop and take this picture. The steeple got larger and larger it was awesome.
These two pilgrims had been walking ahead of me for at least 5 miles.
The back of the Cathedral.
I sat down on the third row right in front
Cafe' con Leche-coffee with milk
Many pilgrims drank this all a long their walk. I didn't drink it until I reached Santiago.
Cafe' con Leche was good, but nothing like Café Americana.
Café Americana was black coffee.
Everytime my friend and I would order a coke or coffee they would bring a snack with it. This was our table after we had sat for a while. Some of the snacks we had already eaten. It was comical. There is no way we could eat all of the snacks they brought us.
We rode the bus to Finnesterre and saw the ocean.
This is the café across from my room where I ate for the week I stayed in Santiago. Most of the cafes, also called bars, were long and narrow like this one.
Another tuna salad. They were so good.
The street my room was on.
My room in Santiago where I spent the week.
Looking out the window of my room to the street below.
I hope you enjoyed my walk to Santiago.
It is also called the Way of St. James.
It's an adventure of a life-time.
It's a tremendous challenge, but anyone can do it.
I can tell you, determination is more than half the battle.
Have a great life and remember it's never too late to plan an adventure.