To Santiago de Compostela

30.08.08 Saturday.

Arzua to Santiago de Compostela.

The brief flurry of rain yesterday became a full thunderstorm that grumbled and muttered all night with intermittent heavy showers on the roof over our heads. We set off at half past six in light rain that soon got heavier, this seemed to put many people off as we had the Camino to ourselves until 0900 when the rain stopped and people started to appear from albergues. The little almost empty streams that cross the Camino were swollen with the rain and once we resorted to the old French trick of walking in the adjacent field (this time we didn’t end up knee deep in water) and generally bowled along happily no more than a bit damp under our waterproofs. We passed quite a few private albergues and by mid morning it was obvious that we were going to get to Compostela today.
We reached Monte de Gozo, the hill outside Santiago from which the cathedral should be visible, about 1200h. This is the place where in the Holy year of 1993 (a holy year is when St James’s day, 25th July falls on a Sunday) a huge 800 bed albergue was built to accommodate those travelling to Compostela to celebrate the papal visit of John Paul II. The albergue remains together with a large sculpture with several well done panels depicting the pope and the routes to Santiago.
We walked rapidly on to a small albergue in a residential area of the town checked in and went rather hungrily to find lunch, in a pizza parlour next door to McDonalds! Qh well!
After a much needed shower to remove mud we then went into town to queue for a short time to present our completed credencial (pilgrim’s passport), to get our Compostela. This is the certificate awarded to those reaching Compostela and having walked at least 100 kilometres (or 200 if arriving by bicycle or horse). Tomorrow we will spend a few days visiting the city prior to our departure for Finisterre.

Link to where we are on Google Maps