Camino del Norte – Day 30 – Santa Irene to Santiago de Compostela, 23km

7th October, 2019

  • Day 30: Santa Irene to Santiago de Compostela
  • Distance: 23km
  • Weather: Freezing cold morning but a gorgeous sunny day on arrival in Santiago
  • Accommodation: San Martin Pinario, €25 incl breakfast

Santiago, here we come!

It’s 7.45am and still very dark when we leave (check out is 8am!). I’m half-asleep and in desperate need of coffee. Sigrid is just ahead but we catch up at the first cafe in a few kilometres.

It's pre-sunrise, it's our last day and I'm the only one who looks like they're still asleep!

It’s pre-sunrise, it’s our last day and I’m the only one who looks like they’re still asleep!

We're now on the Camino Frances and are one of many pilgrims walking the last stage to Santiago

We’re now on the Camino Frances and are one of many pilgrims walking the last stage to Santiago

Breakfast pit-stop with my Camino family and the coldest morning yet (the first time I've worn my beanie)

Breakfast pit-stop with my Camino family and the coldest morning yet (the first time I’ve worn my beanie)

We walk together the rest of the way. It’s a short day considering what we’ve been doing recently, but no-one’s in a hurry and we simply enjoy each other’s company. After the initial freezing cold morning, the sun bursts out and it’s a scorcher of a day.

We go via the Pilgrim Monument at Monte de Gozo for the obligatory selfie, colour coordinated and all!

So close, but yet so far, we make it to the Pilgrim monument on Monte de Gozo

So close, but yet so far, we make it to the Pilgrim monument on Monte de Gozo

Pilgrim monument, Monte de Gozo

Pilgrim monument, Monte de Gozo

We then proceed to stop at cafe after cafe, and although I don’t usually ‘drink and walk,’ all the rules are broken on the last day.

These guys do not want to get to Santiago! A pre-arrival celebratory drink!

These guys do not want to get to Santiago! A pre-arrival celebratory drink!

We're still not there!

We’re still not there!

We walk into Santiago together and I’m filled with joy and emotion and gratitude for my new friends and the lessons this Camino has taught me. What started off as ‘just another walk’ became anything but. This Camino brought up raw emotions that I thought I’d suppressed. I found motherly figures in Linda, Cyndi and Barbara. I found kindness, generosity and pure friendships. I found freedom and happiness. The biggest challenge of every Camino is how to bring it home, into ‘real life.’

We made it and it was such a wonderful feeling to arrive with these guys, thank you!

We made it and it was such a wonderful feeling to arrive with these guys, thank you!

We made it!

We made it!

Our final dinner together, congratulations everyone!

Our final dinner together, congratulations everyone!

My pilgrim room at San Martin Pinario in Santiago de Compostela

My pilgrim room at San Martin Pinario in Santiago de Compostela

The next day I caught up with Cyndi and Michael who took the Primitivo route (of course back at Taberna do Bispo!)

The next day I caught up with Cyndi and Michael who took the Primitivo route (of course back at Taberna do Bispo!)

And just before leaving Santiago, I met my good friend Johnnie Walker and scrambled up to the top of a church for this incredible view of the Cathedral, thanks John!

And just before leaving Santiago, I met my good friend Johnnie Walker and scrambled up to the top of a church for this incredible view of the Cathedral, thanks John!

Thanks for following. If you’ve not walked a Camino, I can’t recommend it enough. Don’t wait until you retire or learn Spanish or feel fit enough. Just go. You’ll be grateful you did and wish you’d done it sooner. My wish is that everyone can walk a Camino at least once. Imagine if all the politicians in the world walked a Camino and broke bread together around a communal meal then washed the dishes together. Wouldn’t the world be a better, more understanding place? The Camino teaches you kindness, generosity, patience, forgiveness and so so many other lessons, you just need to be open to learn.

Kat xxx

10 responses to “Camino del Norte – Day 30 – Santa Irene to Santiago de Compostela, 23km

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey Kat! So true those final words and on my three Camino’s so far that is what I have always thought – for politicians to go on Camino to understand what is really the basic things to enjoy a good life and understand, learn and connect, very humbling.

    Regards,

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

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