October 15, 2002

10/15/02 Santiago de Compostela

25 km

Had to walk back up the highway another kilometer just to get some dinner last night but it was good. I'll miss these meals with all my friends.

Continued to have a rough night because of this cough. I just can't seem to shake it. We all wanted to be out of the refugio early but I think we didn't leave until sometime after 8am.

It was threatening rain all day. Too hot to wear your raingear but too cold to go without it. Most of the day I just pushed hard to get closer to Santiago. Just outside the city, I caught up with Josué and Max. It felt better walking to the cathedral with friends.

Cathedral of St James

Tree of Jesse

Embracing the saint behind the alter

We literally ran into Andreia as she gave us all a great big hug and a kiss. Rick was with her too. So the whole group of us went through the cathedral together. First to put your hand on the pillar of St James, then to hug the alter statue from behind. Then the path took us to the crypt were the relics (bones) are kept. Kind of anti-climatic. Finesterre will probably be more powerful to me.

Max, Josué, Rick, Andreia, Jim, Christopher

For dinner, everyone headed to Casa de Manolo, a popular pilgrim hangout because they have a very inexpensive meal. The amazing part is that it seemed a very swank restaurant. Soon every table was taken by perigrinos, some I knew, a few I recognized but one and all pilgrims. I was glad to be there because a few would not be going on and this would be my last time to see them. Was sad to say goodbye to Andreia but maybe I will see her in Madrid before I leave for the USA.

With my Italian angel Benadetta

But while we were eating, a major storm hit the city. On our run back to the alburgue, we literally had to wade across one street. The rain came in buckets. I think all of us were wearing the only dry clothes we had before that run. At the Seminario Menor de la Asunción, we sloshed our way up three flights of stairs leaving a wet trail behind us.

My cough is still with me but I feel good otherwise. I just hope we have a bit of good weather at Finesterre.

Celebrating with wonderful friends