The part in Galicia started great: the albergue in Padron had a big green field where everybody was hanging around at night with Spanish wine. Great atmosphere. On the way, some small changes indicated that we had entered Galicia: the horreos (granaries) had a different shape, and the waymarking had also changed: up until now, the hinge of the camino shell had pointed the direction, but in Galicia you need to follow the direction of the rays.
And Lugo is a beautiful Roman city with a lovely old center. But from As Seixas, I experienced what I had been warned for since the start of the camino: the last 100 kms are much busier. During the first 4 weeks, we pilgrims had been like a family in the albergues. Some people would quit, new people would show up and get ‘adopted’ by the family, but all in all, we were like a group.
From As Seixas this changed, and from Arzua, where our camino joined the Frances, it was extremely busy, so busy that we all ended up in different albergues and hotels. After four weeks of quietness, I didn’t like these hoards of people.
But Santiago was near. On August 9, I arrived and luckily I found my fellow pilgrims so we could all have lunch together to celebrate. Although I’m not religious myself, I found the mass very impressive. The cathedral was packed, the singing was heavenly and a very old Spanish woman next to me started to cry when they swung the botafumeiro.
It had been my plan to continue to Finisterra. But while having lunch in sunny Santiago, realising that the weather forecast predicted hot weather, and not wanting to carry the heavy backpack in the heat anymore, I decided not to. This is one of the things the camino brought me: go with the flow. I might have told everybody I would continue to Finisterre but I didn’t feel like it, so why should I? Instead, I took a bus, because I did want to see the sunset:
In Santiago de Compostela, I booked a flight home from A Coruna. I can recommend not booking a return flight beforehand. I liked not having to rush and not knowing when (and if 🙂 ) I’d arrive in Santiago.
- August 3: Grandas de Salime – Padron 27 km
- August 4: Padron – Cadavo de Baleira 22 km
- August 5: Cadavo de Baleira – Lugo 30 km
- August 6: Lugo – As Seixas 35 km
- August 7: As Seixas – Arzua 28 km
- August 8: Arzua – Labacolla 28 km
- August 9: Labacolla – Santiago de Compostela 10 km