June 25: Santiago de Compostela

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe arrived in Santiago de Compostela on June 25 (six months before Christmas) hot, thirsty, tired, and with sore feet. On the way to the cathedral, we got a hotel room so we would not have to carry our backpacks. From there, we limped to the Pilgrim’s Office to get our certificates of completion. The person at the office assumed I did the Camino for religious or spiritual purposes and gave me a Compostela; Dennis on the other hand received the certificate for completing the Camino for sport, culture, or health reasons. I am envious; I prefer his.

On our last days, we both developed blisters: Dennis on his toes and I on the heels. Both our feet have grown, Dennis is now a size 15.5 and I am a woman’s 9.5. At the shoe store, Dennis had only one option. If his feet continue to grow, I wonder if we will be able to find him shoes on the continent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom the Pilgrim’s office we went to a cafe and celebrated with a beer. See how tired but happy Dennis appears. Exhausted, we tucked in at 8:30 P.M, forgetting to take an ibuprofen and consequently achy for most of the night.

In the morning, we went to the Pilgrim’s Mass and saw the Botafumeiro de Santiago de Compostela, a large incense burner swing over the pilgrims at the end of Mass. I was disappointed in today’s sermon. It had little to do with pilgrims (all about parents and educators teaching the young) and was delivered monotonously. I preferred the ceremony more in 2011, where the sermon was more appropriate for me as a pilgrim.

In the afternoon, we went in search of replacement clothes and to see which was better: sell our bikes or ship them home. We decided on the latter and will spend most of tomorrow completing the arrangements. We have decided to backpack through Europe, taking trains and buses as needed–I am too clumsy to continue biking. To date my falls have not been too damaging, but I have lost my mojo for biking. Dennis said that even though he loves biking, he loves me more and does not want to see me hurt. Isn’t he romantic! Now that decision is made, we need to plan our course, but I think we will be in England soon.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit janevblanchard.com. I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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