Today kicked off at 4 with another breakfast of champions for me, a can of monster and some chocolate biscuits! And we hit the street for half 4 my feet were rough going for the first 30 mins but then was ok. With seemingly very few issues early on we made very good time and had soon done 14k before breakfast the usual toast and jam and coffee.
Here we met Gloria and Anna both Italian. Gloria was actually in Aberdeen in Feb and showed me pics of all the usual castles around Aberdeen. Anna did Erasmus for a year and learnt English so we could also chat. We were all nattering away when we realised we were no longer on the camino and it had been a while since we had seen any arrows. A few cars then pointed back the way we came and a local offered to give us a lift back down the road we had walked down and we were soon back on the camino with around 20k to go.
I was being fuelled by Spanish ibuprofen which is good as its 600mg per tablet and not the 200 I normally take. But I could feel it wearing off and it was once again like walking on glass. So popped another one and had another can of monster! Once again we walked on my focus was on walking as efficiently as possible as my ankles and knees were also now giving me twinges.
Due to all this I only took a few pics but a lot of the path was next to roads anyway so pretty boring but there were some forestry parts which were a lot better more enjoyable to walk through.
By the last 10k and my 3rd ibuprofen of the day I was feeling my feet were tired and then I was getting shooting pains up my legs. I knew the next part was going to suck so put my music up and tried to just get on with it but with 5k left and all downhill to go which is a lot harder than you think my ibuprofen run out. I spent the next hour and a bit grunting,screaming and swearing my way through Santiago.
Eventually though as we meandered through the streets we could see the cathedral and then I could hear bagpipes, which I knew was a guy next to the arch from reading many camino stories. Then there was the arch I hobbled down the stairs and boom the cathedral and wow it’s huge! We all congratulated each other and the wave of euphoria meant I couldn’t feel my feet! We walked to the middle of the courtyard and dropped our bags and lay on the floor looking up! There was nothing takings the smile off my face and then I released the feet! There is no better feeling and just lay there staring at the cathedral in awe of the finish line of my 800 plus km trip over The last 25 days!
The feeling is one I will remember for a long time we all just sat in silence staring up. I don’t think it has yet sunk in what myself and Rosario have achieved. We then slowly took it in turns taking a few pics. We all had one thing on our mind and that was to go get the compostela/certificate and queued up for what seemed like ages and we all took it in turns to get them! Rosario however took the time to ask how many people have completed the camino this year and so far it’s was just over 150,000 and then how many people completed this year from saint jean where we started and the number was just over 17,000 so we are actually part of the 10/11% of people who completed it. We felt we were elite pilgrims.
We all had hotels booked so run away in search of showers and comfort but will meet up for grub later!
The plan is to go to the pilgrims mass as 12 tomorrow and investigate the city more and relax before heading home!