Day 1 of 3 Finisterre

Left Santiago about 6:30 am for a short 22k day to Negreira. You can walk to Finisterre in 3 or 4 days. If I do 3 it will mean two long ones, so will see. Was delighted to have Ting-an catch up with me. We walked together all day, had the pilgrim meal and are staying together at Carmen Albergue. It was nice to see a familiar face as the rest are new today.

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Day 32

Made it to Santiago! I feel like I should be all philosophical but I cannot do that concisely. It was definitely about the journey and not the destination for me. I am not the person I was a month ago. As I walked into Santiago I was greeted by the group of young people whose cheerful faces I will miss! The young man that took my picture by the cathedral wanted a selfie with me… I told him he did a good job getting the whole cathedral in my picture and he said “yes… in South Korea we are good at knowing which angle to take a picture “. I plan to catch up with Michoel (probably right here in the long line to get my Compestella). My trip isn’t over, and I will post about the ending, but today is the day I reached my goal.

Day 31

Ate the pilgrim meal last night with a nice group of new friends. Nice walk from Ribadiso to Pedrouzo today (about 22k I think). I had a piece of Tarta Santiago for breakfast and fresh-squeezed orange juice. I wish I could give you a sample of the amazing smell of the eucalyptus trees we passed in the forest. Ann (UK) and I walked together most of the way and discovered that we are both staying in the very nice Mirador de Pedrouzo. Unpacked, showered, laundry done, time to explore the village.

Day 30

Walked about 25k to Ribadiso today. Met so many familiar faces. People that I’ve seen but didn’t talk to introduced themselves to me today. Old friends that I’ve run into regularly over the last month all said the same thing when they saw me “oh Sheryl… it is good to see you… this is sad isn’t it? Only two days left!”. I took a pic of a group of young people that I have come to think of as “Erin and the gents”. Several people have told me that the Camino is “summer camp for adults” I agree with that analogy. There are lots of new people on the trail… no dust on their shoes, no melancholy. Many are young, traveling in a group, singing and laughing! I heard someone behind me say “the Camino is like life… if you approach it with love, love is what will be returned to you (as apposed to those who approach with fear or ego). We all have shells dangling from our packs, we are all headed to Santiago, but we are all traveling our own Camino.

Day 29

Had a lovely dinner in Portomarín with Clare and Suzanne (Australia). Walked from Portomarín to San Xulian today. Just before Castamayor Rob (UK) walked up and we started talking. This was lucky for me because we were close to the archeological site that I did not know about and would have walked right by! Saw many familiar faces on the trail today. People who I thought I would never see again including Ting-an who is in the bed next to me tonight!

Day 28

Crossed the 100k mark today walking from Sarria to Portomarín. While I will have walked over 800k by the time I reach Santiago, the requirement for receiving a certificate is just that you walk the last 100k and have 2 stamps on your pilgrim credentials to prove it. There are many people that, due to time or health constraints just walk the last 100k. It was an interesting walk today which included a Spanish couple walking the 100k to Santiago with their six dogs.

Day 27

Short walk from Tricastela to Sarria. My chest strap on my backpack broke as I was walking so I just tied a knot (much to the dismay of two “helpful” Peregrinos who stopped to give me advice on how to fix it and have since met me several times on the path and Sarria to see if I have fixed it properly yet). Sarria is much larger than I expected and it took me a while to find the hostel where I had pre-booked and a bit of an effort to get in once I got here but it is very nice.

Once again, the walk was lovely! Had several of those “I cannot believe I’m walking across Spain moments”! So much of this Camino is simply surreal!