Chris set out for Santiago about 8 AM and Di and I headed out to our Zumo, chocolate croissant and cafe con leche/ hot chocolate. We watched as a tour group of pilgrims lined up in a tight congestion and headed off. Chris said it was a beautiful start of the day in woods but the closer to Santiago and through the city was exhausting. Of course, I escorted Di in the taxi with Senior taxi kindness. A thirty something kind and happy man.
Our new lodging for tonight and the next 5 is Oxford Suites just a block from the Cathedral. We are in the room Chris was hoping for from the advertised photos, the attic room with a sky light facing the cathedral. I will take a photo tonight when the cathedral is lit. That is for tonight only then we move to another room tomorrow but are very happy for this opportunity.
While we waited for Chris, Di enjoyed three glasses of wine, for the pain of course, then she took a nap. It is a quiet day of walking and watching people arrive with excitement, taking photos and leaping for joy.
We had dinner of chicken or salmon for Di and half a plate of pimiento de padron and the traditional pile of French fries. Uncharacteristically, Di’s salmon came with boiled potato, a first! The pimiento de padron is a regional pepper that can only be grown and picked in 5 villages to be traditional. They state that most are mild but without knowing you will run into one that is “extremely hot”. Chris carefully nibbled. I wished my son in law Rob was here to eat them.
I have not had time to think about our arrival other than the thought that you could drive to our start at Leon in a little over two hours which is stunning when the journey of life we walked through physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally could have only been done through the slow process of walking, meditating, processing, and praying for 17 days for the same distance. The unexpected road to Santiago. I lay in bed last night aware of a deep abiding peace, a smile on my lips and in my heart.
Chris and I went to 7:30 Mass at the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, arriving at about 6:50. It quickly became a full house. We were rewarded with the swinging of the botafumero by 5 monks. My phone was back at the hotel being charged but I was glad for that as Chris has seen it three other times and could take the shots and I could absorb the experience. I felt an electrical charge, tears and joy. Quite an experience. On the way to the cathedral Mass we walked through a portico with four arches coming together. A perfect spot for sound with a flutist playing with a recording, my first electrical charge of the evening.