Bad weather first thing and further bad weather forecast meant that the final day was stunted.
Chris picked me up and took me to Lalin, from where it was only 46 kms in the rain to Santiago. When it rains in Galicia, it really does rain. You notice all the local people carry umbrellas a part of life, even if it is not raining, it night at any moment.
The canter into Santiago was not very demanding, and apart from the rain enjoyable to savour the final leg.
On arrival in Santiago de Compostela, it is just a question of making ones way to the Cathedral and the Plaza, have the necessary photographs taken to record the termination of the trip, then visit the Pilgrims office to get my Compostela.
I had been unable to find out much in advance as to what happened in this office. You enter a fairly ancient, but scruffy, building and climb up an enormous stone staircase to the first floor. Here you wait in the queue to be interviewed. Its a bit like queuing at Miami airport to be interviewed by immigration, you have to stand behind the line on the floor, well back from the desk, presumably so that you are not privy to whatever is going on with the current applicant.
Eventually your turn comes, took me about 20 minutes wait, and you just go up to the desk and present you stamped credential. A very pleasant young lady looked over the "sellos", appeared satisfied that I had actually journeyed from Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela, and then gave me a sheet to add my details to the others that had gone before me. A minute later, with that complete, she fills out my name on a Compostela. Indeed she has to fill me a second Compostela, because we are so busy chatting that the first one she adds my name in English, realises her mistake, and fills out a new Compostela with my name in Latin. That's it, maybe 5 minutes at the desk to fill up the paperwork, and I am back out into the grey Santiago afternoon and a bath at the hotel.
The journey is over.
|Bike at Santiago de Compostela||Bike with Santiago de Compostela Parador behind|
Outside Santiago Cathedral
And the Compostela
|All you need in one place in Santiago de Compostela||View from As Artes Hotel bedroom|
I had stayed at the As Artes hotel before, and had no difficulty in deciding to stay there again. You can see from the ariel photo that it is right in the centre of things. Book one of the larger rooms at the front, and you get a great view over the cathedral, and a fraction of the price of the Dos Reis Parador.
Camino de Santiago - Via de la Plata Map of my route