Padron – Santiago de Compostela

21 April 2018


Wow, what do you say after walking through two different countries for 25 days?

The end of a 620km walk:

And so the day finally arrived. Our last day of walking the Portuguese Camino and the day we will see the Santiago Cathedral again – almost a year after completing our first Camino, the Camino Frances.

In contrast to yesterday’s feeling of sadness about our Camino coming to an end, we now experienced a sense of anticipation. We knew this day had to come sometime and we were ready to embrace the full experience today!

Quiet streets in Padron:

As we walked through the streets of Padron, we saw several pilgrims walking towards Santiago. Each of these pilgrims has their own reasons for doing the Camino, but most have only one goal at this stage – to get to the Cathedral in Santiago. I think this is the one silver thread that binds us together as pilgrims.

Narrow streets in Iria Flavia

Back on the country lanes:

After walking along the main road for some time, we turned left to rejoin the quiet country lanes. We walked past a few hamlets, and also passed the local residents’ houses where they were quietly going about their everyday activities.

We’ve seen pilgrims regularly now – probably the most since we started our Portuguese Camino – but that’s to be expected as it’s the last stretch to Santiago de Compostela!


Hard to believe … only 16.8km to Santiago

Last coffee on the Camino:

In Picarana we saw a café along the main road and we could smell the delicious aroma of the Spanish coffee. That was reason enough to stop for a while.


A last café con leche before Santiago

After walking past all the cafés and albergues through Picarana on a stretch of one kilometer, we turned left again past the ancient Pazo do Faramello.


Beautiful country lanes at Faramello

One of the oldest wayside crosses:

At the fork after Faramello, we came to “ermita de San Martino” and “cruceiro do Francos” – one of the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia.


“Cruceiro do Francos” – one of the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia

Ancient pilgrim road:

According to our Brierley guidebook, it is from here that we join the ancient pilgrim’s road, which has still retained its original name “Rua de Francos” throughout the centuries. It was a lovely stretch of road with walks through woodlands.


The kilometers continued to count down to Santiago

Beautiful scenery after Faramello with paths through the woods

The walk through the woodland gave us the perfect opportunity to clear our minds … and to just breathe and enjoy this moment.


Only 5.4km

It really was the perfect route before we walked into Santiago. Contentment filled us completely and we were now ready to end our journey.

Amazing paths through more woodlands


The last distance way marker we saw before Santiago … 3.4km


For 26 days we have seen these yellow arrows – we are going to miss them

Which way?

With about 3km to go, we reached an option where waymarkers pointed in opposite directions (and with no explanation as to what the options involved!)


Now what … left or right?

We took the left road:

We had to consult our trusty Brierley guide book (for the last time on this journey) about where to go. According to our guide book, the most direct route is 600m shorter and is more pleasant, while the other route on your right goes through modern suburbs and waymarkings are poor (but it is downhill). Oh well, “shorter” sounded better to us. So yes, we chose the left option (Por Santa Marta).

This is also where the slog started as we walked into Santiago. We kept looking out for the towers of the Cathedral and looked at each other with a sense of anticipation!

At 1km to go:

On the university campus we came to a water point where Berto stopped to fill his bottle.

“Really”, I said “with only one kilometer to go?”

I think it was just his way of making me wait a little longer to get to the Cathedral!


Berto filling his water bottle … with only 1km to go

And finally … we took our last steps towards the Cathedral.

The Santiago Cathedral:

According to John Brierley, the pilgrim walking from Portugal, traditionally turns right into the rua Fonseca as far as the Praza das Praterias to enter the Cathedral by the south door. This was the particular entrance used by the medieval pilgrims who travelled on the Camino Portuguese and remains the oldest doorway to the Cathedral dating from the 11th century (1078). It was now the same route we walked – it’s fascinating!

We are finally here – after walking 620km:

As we stood in front of the magnificent towers of the Santiago Cathedral, we looked at each other. This time there were no tears, just a sense of accomplishment and absolute joy! We hugged each other and Berto said: “We did it … again”.


A picture any pilgrim on the Camino will cherish forever

We took off our backpacks and just sat there on the ground for a while, looking up at the Cathedral. We thought of so many things:

  • that first week from Lisbon we walked for more than 30km every day,
  • painful feet,
  • rainy days,
  • sunny days,
  • the wonderful people we met along the way,
  • the days we lost the yellow arrow,
  • the delicious food we enjoyed … oh, those pastel de nata’s!

We felt absolutely blessed to be able to do this journey!


Time to reflect on our Portuguese Camino

A last beer on the Camino:

And then, once again, we walked over to a street restaurant to have that beer to announce the end of a day … and now also the end of our Portuguese Camino!


There were great beers on the Portuguese Camino, but this one must be the best 😀

Accommodation – Pension Pumar:

Pension Pumar

Walking to our last accommodation on the Camino:

We booked into Pension Pumar for the next three days – to rest and to enjoy the atmosphere of Santiago. There are a lot of parks nearby with a river running at the end of the park … we did not waste time to shower and took a stroll down to the river where we sat for a very long time.


Relaxing on the grass in front of Pension Pumar

A short reflection:

A year ago, we did not even think that we will be here so soon again! It was such an amazing adventure and we felt privileged to have done the Camino again. So much different than our first one last year, but an experience we will never forget!

And yes, once again, I felt blessed to have done this with my dear husband! Berto is the ultimate travelling/hiking partner … there were days that I found walking extremely difficult, but he encouraged me to always believe in myself. I will forever be thankful to him for “pushing me to my limits” 😊.

Will we ever do another Camino? We have no idea … but we would not mind!


Paulo Coelho said: “Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished. Stop being who you were and change into who YOU are”

Packing List – Camino Portuguese:

To view our Packing List, click here 

As with any long distance hiking journey, there are reflections afterwards (and sometimes bold decisions are made) … just click on the links below to read about our reflections & life changing decisions:

Camino Portuguese – Reflections Part 1 (2018)

Camino Portuguese – Reflections Part 2 (2018)

Camino Portuguese – Reflections Part 3 – Final (2018)



19 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 26 (Final day!)

  1. Please send me the link that I may review your entire trip Lisbon to Santiago. Interested in seeing the route that you took.Thanks.


  2. Hi Berto & Corna,
    Ek is nou eintlik spyt die trip was so kort, want ek het dit so geniet om te lees. Dit was baie lekker om jul wedervaringe te deel op die tog. Baie dankie vir die deel, dis uitstekend geskryf en mooi foto’s.
    Ek kyk uit vir die volgende een. Groete. Spook

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ons is bly jy’t dit geniet Spook. Ek dink nie ek sou nog ‘n ekstra kilometer kon stap om ons storie langer te maak nie … Berto aan die ander kant, staan amper gereed met sy rugsak vir ‘n volgende avontuur 😳. Dis reg, kyk uit vir ons volgende stories …


  3. Berto en Corna. Baie dankie dat ek hierdie “reis” saam met julle kon deurmaak. Ek het elke oomblik geniet en sommer baie wenke gekry. Ek en Marius beplan min of meer dieselfde roete vanaf Porto in September. Ons is al baie opgewonde, maar dit gaan ‘n BAIE lang 7 maande wees wat voorlê! Groete Ansa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ansa. Ons is baie bly jy het saam met ons “gestap” en dat jy dit geniet het! Ek’s sommer jaloers oor julle lekkerte wat voorle – ek hoop vir jou part die maande vlieg tot by September 😉. O ja, ek het so pas ons “packing list” gepost op ons blog … gaan loer bietjie daar as julle wil sien wat in ons rugsakke was. Bom Caminho!


      1. Baie dankie. Ek het alreeds daar geloer. Ons het verlede September die Camino Francés gedoen en baie geleer, so hierdie keer gaan daar ook heelwat goed tuisbly! Groete uit die Strand.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dit is so, dat as jy eers ‘n Camino gedoen het, dan weet jy darem min of meer wat om saam te vat – hoop julle stap ook met ‘n liter rugsak hierdie keer 😀. Geniet al die voorbereiding en mag dit ‘n geseende Camino vir julle wees. Mooi loop.


  4. I have really enjoyed reading your blog in preparation for our Portuguese Camino starting 28th April together with my husband, brother & sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gabrielle, I’m glad you have enjoyed our blog … and hope there was some useful information! Enjoy every moment on your Portuguese Camino (and take lots of photo’s – there’s so many beautiful things to capture!) Bom Caminho


  5. Many congratulations not only on completing your camino in fairly trying circumstances (blisters, insect allergic reactions and rain) but also on your wonderful blogging about it. I honestly felt as if I was walking every step with you both. I cannot wait to read some more of your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It did take me a little while but it was well worth it and it was a great help. I mention occasionally in my blog that my sleep patterns are erratic to say the least. I am almost completely nocturnal and fairly insomniac. I love having a good read to get me through the long hours of the night if I am not writing up my own travels and this was ideal, a great read.

        As I said earlier, I am looking forward to settling down with a coffee (not good for insomnia I know) later on and giving your other caminos a good perusal.

        Liked by 1 person

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