Wynette: We arrived in Santiago yesterday afternoon about 3:45. It is rather strange to be here. We are happy we made it, happy we did it, and, well, planning our next camino, maybe through Portugal? We walked 412 miles according to Charlie’s GPS app. We walked 38 days and took 7 additional days to visit cities, rest sore feet, get over being sick. We took 2 taxis, 4 buses, and a train to skip some too-long or too-asphalty stages when I was having foot problems, for a total of about 100 miles skipped.
It is strange to be here because there was never any particular reason for us to come to Santiago except, to come to Santiago is why the wonderful Camino exists. Santiago is a nice city but very touristy in this old part of town where we are staying. The cathedral is surrounded by souvenir shops. Dozens of them. Actually, it reminds me of Old Town in Albuquerque, complete with a very nice church.
As we’ve been walking, I have been rereading three books, accounts of three American pilgrims of their Camino experience, reading about the places they passed through about the same time we passed through them. One, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is Following the Milky Way by Elyn Aviva. She ends her book with this beautiful poem written in 1911 by Greek poet C. V. Cacafy: Ithaca.