CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 26 (Final day!)


Padron – Santiago de Compostela

21 April 2018

25.6km

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

The end of walking after 620km:

The day has arrived … our final day of hiking the Portuguese Camino and the day we will see the Santiago Cathedral once again – almost one year after we finished our first Camino, the Camino Frances.

In contrast of yesterday’s sadness about our Camino that was coming to an end, we now had a feeling of anticipation about our last stage … we knew this day had to come and we were ready to embrace the full experience!

Quiet streets in Padron:

As we walked through the streets of Padron, we saw several pilgrims walking towards Santiago … everyone with their own reasons as to why they have done the Camino, but with one goal in sight – to get to the cathedral in Santiago – that is the one silver thread that binds us pilgrims together 😊.

Walking through the narrow streets of Iria Flavia

Back on the country lanes:

After walking next to the main road for some time, we turned left to join, once again, quiet country lanes. From here we passed a couple of hamlets, walking passed the locals’ houses where they were quietly busy with everyday life.

We are now seeing pilgrims constantly – probably the most since we started our Portuguese Camino – but that is to be expected … it’s the last stretch that leads us into Santiago de Compostela!

img_2659

Hard to believe … only 16.8km to Santiago

One last coffee on the Camino:

In Picarana we saw a café next to the main road and we could smell the wonderful aroma of the Spanish coffee … enough reason to stop for a while 😀.

img_2661

What about a last café con leche before reaching Santiago?

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

img_2662

Walking on beautiful country lanes at Faramello

One of the oldest wayside crosses:

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

img_2663

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

Joining the ancient pilgrim way:

According to our Brierley guide book, it is from here that we join the ancient pilgrim way, which still retains its original name “Rua de Francos”. It was a stunning stretch of road with beautiful walks through woodlands.

img_2664

The kilometers kept counting down to Santiago …

Beautiful scenery after Faramello with roads taking us through the woods

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

img_2670

We have constantly seen signs to indicate the distance to Santiago – now only 5.4km

It was really the perfect hike before we walked into Santiago … the tranquility filled us completely and we were now ready to end our journey!

Amazing walkways through more woodlands

img_2677

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

img_2678

For 26 days we saw these yellow arrows – we will miss them!

Which way to go?

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

img_2679

Now what … left or right?

We took the left road:

We had to consult our trusted Brierley guide book (for the last time on this journey) as to where we should go! According to our guide book, the most direct route is 600m shorter and is more pleasant while the other route to your right goes through modern suburbs and waymarking is poor (but it is downhill) … oh well, “shorter” sounds better … yes, we took the left one (Por Santa Marta).

The slogging then started into Santiago and we kept our eyes open to see the towers of the cathedral … we looked at each other with a feeling of anticipation!

Filling his water bottle at 1km to go:

On the university campus we came to a water point and Berto filled his bottle … I said: “Really, for the last kilometer?” 😳. I think it was just his way of making me wait a little bit longer to get to the Cathedral!

img_2680

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

And then … we took our final steps towards the Cathedral.

The Santiago Cathedral:

According to John Brierley, by tradition the pilgrim from Portugal turns up right into rua Fonseca into the Praza das Praterias to enter the Cathedral by the south door. This was the particular entrance used by the medieval pilgrim travelling the Camino Portuguese and remains the oldest doorway to the Cathedral dating back to the 11th century (1078) … and now, this was the very same route that we were taking … it’s quite fascinating!

We are here – after walking 620km:

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

dsc04061

A picture any pilgrim on the Camino will cherish forever!

We took our backpacks off and sat there for a while – looked up at the Cathedral. We thought about so many things …

  • that first week from Lisbon that we walked every day for more than 30km,
  • painful feet,
  • rainy days,
  • sunny days,
  • the amazing people we met,
  • the days that we lost the yellow arrow,
  • the great food we had … ohh, those pastel de nata’s!

And we felt absolutely blessed to have done this journey!

img_2688

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!

img_2690

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.

img_2696

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!

img_2707

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)

 

Categories: Camino Portuguese (April 2018)

18 comments

  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.

    Like

  2. Very nice blog,brings back beautiful memories. We walked from Porto last August.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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

    • 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 …

      Like

  4. 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

    • 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!

      Like

      • 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

      • 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.

        Like

  5. 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

    • 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

      Like

  6. 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

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: