Friday, October 9, 2009

Santiago de Compostela

Day 32-Pedrouza-Santiago de Compostela
6 hours 30 minutes-21.2 km

We were all up at 5AM. I think the excitement of reaching Santiago today was somewhat like a child that can't sleep on Christmas morning.
We were walking by 6AM. It was still dark when we reached the Santiago airport.
We climbed our last hill Monte Gozo (Mount Joy), so named because atop the hill the Pilgrim gets the first joyful glimpse at the spires of the cathedral of the Saint they have walked so far to see.
Unfortunately for us the day was rainy and overcast so we couldn't see much through the fog and mist.
When we got to the outskirts of Santiago, the walk seemed interminable. Then about 5 km before arrival Heidi started getting severe hip and leg problems. I gave here my trekking poles to help and she hobbled slowly and painfully into the city and on to the cathedral.
I wept tears of joy when I came around the corner and there was the grand cathedral looming in front of me. I walked up the stairs weeping, and entered, but the Mass had already started and Heidi needed to get to our lodgings.
Once the girls got settled in, I went back to Praza do Obradoiro, the "golden square" in front of the cathedral where throngs of Pilgrims gather. The square was filled with excitement.
I saw many Pilgrim friends. We embraced and took many photos and even shed a few tears with some that had been with us from the beginning.
It has been a very exciting and emotional day.
My head is still spinning.
Blessings to all
(The photo only shows a portion of the magnificent cathedral.)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. I know how you feel. It'll take a long while to sink in. This will be with you for the rest of your life. You'll be thinking about the experience every night before you go to sleep for a long time to come - if you're anything like me! Be warned - soon you'll want to do it again! Congratulations, and best wishes... SW

  2. hey gram! that picture is so pretty. sounds like my mom is tired! hahah. love you all. good luck! love sarah

  3. Hi Auntie Rita, and Uncle Ron,
    You did it! You finished your goal! I hope your last day was everything and more than you could have imagined. Enjoy the next couple of days in Santiago. Looking forward to you being home and talking in person! Love, Amelia

  4. Oh Rita, I find myself getting emotional just reading your post. What a marvelous experience you have had. AND---you will remember this until the day you die. Praise God!!!!!

    Thanks again for giving me this experience also.

  5. Congratulations! I'm so thrilled for you and can hardly comprehend the joy you felt. How will you be able to leave? The cathedral is totally magnificent! I enlarged your photo--what detail; how interesting! I hope Heidi is feeling better and able to do her own dance of joy!

  6. Well done Rita-peregrina!
    Please give old Jimmy a hug from me when you visit the cathedral again.

  7. CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing accomplishment. The catherdral looks truly awe-inspiring. As my cousin Lynda would say, you can "dine-out" on this experience for years to come. I'm ready to host a big picture party whenever you all are up to it! Have a great flight home!

  8. congratulations gramm :)

    good job. i cant wait to see youu! i miss you so much, thursday night dinner wasnt the same without you guys

    love holly

  9. Congratulations Mom and Dad! What an amazing journey and accomplishment. I am so proud of both of you. Enjoy your time in Santiago. I can't wait to see you. Love, Susan

  10. Wow hooray you made it through congrats to both and espcially Ronnie for hanging in there! Can't wait to talk to you in person. I bet you exploded with so much emotion when you saw that beautiful cathedral. Can't wait to hear all your stories in person. Love and kisses Carol

  11. Congratulations! It was very interesting to read you trip and see that you succeeded! We're already in planning mode for this trip next year - more for the walking, less for the religious stuff, being atheists! Saludos de Finlandia!

  12. to all who walked as you both have congradulations.Heidi and Helen I am proud of you girls also!!!!