ON THE ROAD WITH ANN – Onward to Santiago

“Queimada”

(Editor’s note:  a much longer post today, as we catch you up on the end of the camino without spamming your social media. Hope you enjoy.)

Last evening, after dinner at the pazo that has started to feel like home, we had a traditional Galician queimada. A local herb-infused alcohol is mixed with sugar, fruits and coffee beans, then lit and stirred. As flames rise, a witches’ incantation is read in Gallego, the language of Galicia. Something about demons going or coming out as we take turns stirring. We then drink the warm and delicious brew from small ceramic cups. Pretty sure it knocked out the remains of the cold among us, the cold I picked up en route and have innocently shared with the group.

Strange feeling to be waited on so graciously in the pazo by three siblings to whom this (and other properties) have belonged forget than three centuries. How do they feel, I wonder, being the servants to their paying guests?

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Today we are walking into Santiago, our pilgrimage destination.

The group is uncharacteristically quiet this morning. I expect people are quietly reflecting on their experiences, both physical and metaphoric. We will discuss TS Eliot’s poem, “Journey of the  Magi” before dinner as an aid to our collective contemplation. Some will be eager to share and others will prefer to keep personal thoughts private. I know that the gifts of the Camino will only be partially perceived now. Like time-released medication, the direct effects and unanticipated side effects will continue to be felt long after.

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Our final walk was through drizzle, heavy rain and sunshine. One of us had a bad toe and took a taxi.

I don’t have words to describe our entry other than to say I was very happy to walk on with people I have gotten to know better, day by day.

We met up with and walked in with the father and his two sonswho we met earlier. The dad gave me another poem, this one about rain. I will read it to the group in the bar.

I wandered the streets of Santiago by myself this afternoon in the rain. The city is especially beautiful in the rain with light glinting off polished and mossy stones.

A few photos to follow.

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Pelegrinos comes in many shapes and sizes

 

Here, at entry to city, pilgrims discard colourful bits of their belongings

 

Tom and Mike from Atlanta create a new ritual as we enter Santiago

 

 

A favourite statue of a weary pilgrim

 

 

(click to enlarge)

 

 

 

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