Santiago de Compostela 7 th May

The day was grey and wet and after our first porridge for weeks we finally got ourselves organised to attend the Pilgrims’s Mass. While the Cathedral is undergoing renovation the mass is being held in the Church of San Francisco. It is a beautiful church of course but certainly not with the grandeur of the cathedral or the spectacular Botafumeriea.

Here pilgrims could come straight in from their walk and many had their certificates in hand too. It was a very moving service initiated by a nun singing Latin hymns with the purest voice. Quite angelic. The service was conducted in Spanish and the countries of pilgrims that had arrived that day were announced. It is very moving to here all the countries named and the prayer for peace in our world. It underlines our common humanity and what unites us rather than our differences. Anne and I took communion and I started to cry. I felt so overwhelmed with emotion I had not anticipated. Even Bill and Irene found the service moving.

Recovering composure we finished by lighting candles for our families and then setting off in search of the office for pilgrims to get Anne’s dual pilgrimage badge. Because she completed the Kumano Kodo- Kiri-Tanabe to Kumano Hongu Taishi -Kumano Nachi Taisha in Japan when we all walked together and now the Portuguese Camino, she can be acknowledged as a dual pilgrim. Irene and Bill were eligible also but were unable to find their Japanese Credencias before leaving. The instructions given to us to locate the Pilgrims Information Office were difficult to follow. Even the GPS was bamboozeled. After completing a circuit of half the old town we eventually located the place! It was an ordeal in its own right! What was just as amusing was the number of other pilgrims all trying to follow their phones. We laughed at each other as we all passed like dots in Pac-Man. The old town buildings were throwing out the GPS signals. Anne and I had our photos taken and recorded on the register here in Santiago. What was most galling was that we had been within 5 minutes of the office before we started to look for it!

We finally headed home and then had to turn around and go out for dinner. We saw a lot of Santiago and found it’s winding streets so charming but beguiling.

We found a Galician tavern for dinner and were seduced by the atmosphere. The food was quite good until the scallops and corn arrived. We had been sharing the other dishes but the scallop was actually one scallop! Very disappointing. The waiter gave us a discount when we said we had been disappointed. He knew we were sharing so he had not given us the correct guidance.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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