Monday, 2 May 2011

Really the end!

Here I am at the airport :( I guess my trip really is over! I am super sad!

The last 2 days in Santiago were really good! Saturday was great because it was all greeting people and meeting everyone from along the way! Lots of eating and drinking and celebrating. Then yesterday was a bit more welcoming people and meeting but it was also a lot of saying goodbye to a lot of people you know you will never see again - no matter how much you exchange emails and say you'll visit.

But - Annie (she arrived Saturday afternoon so we were together again to celebrate) got a tattoo too!!! What fun!! She got a yellow arrow on her foot as well! And Simon and his new girlfriend that's just as crazy as he is arrived yesterday! Its fun to hang out with people that are only 20! Made me feel like I was 20 again but with all the perks of having a job and some money in the bank! I didn't have to bargain at the grocery store or accept every free food sample that was offered!

Anyways - I really enjoyed my stay at the Parador! And we had drinks there last night! Pretending I can always afford the rich life. Even though I was wearing my scrubby walking clothes that I have been wearing for 5 weeks now! I am really looking forward to wearing a new outfit and putting a bit of makeup on! Mostly wearing a different shirt will be amazing!

Oh - and I need to watch the news or something! I have no idea what has happened in the world over the last 35 days! Obama appears to be on TV now about something - but its in Spanish so I don't understand :p

Ugh oh! I just realized all the flights ahead of mine are delayed or cancelled! Its a bit foggy here! I better not spend all day in the airport!!

Oh! And Ryan Air let me check my walking stick for FREE!! Even the lady at the desk joked about how that's the only free thing offered by Ryan Air! So my walking stick gets to come home with me! Maybe I'll take it to the Lake District with me in a couple days for my next walk!

Well- I'll put one or two more posts on here when I get home. I realized yesterday that lots of people were reading my blog! Not just friends and family but people just interested in the camino. I found a link to my blog on a camino website! Wow I feel cool!! And I feel kinda bad about my whiny days :p The camino has been amazing and anyone can do it if you give yourself enough time! I'll put some bits up about how much I spent and some tips after. This is definitely one of the cheapest ways to travel in Europe! I wasn't a budget pilgrim and never cooked my own meal and I spent a lot less than I would have spent in a normal month just living in London!

So I'll post again from home and add some links to the rest of my pictures! Thank you for reading and for all of your lovely and encouraging comments and messages!
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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Memento

Sorry dad and grandma...I know you don't like these...but I had to get a reminder of my journey to keep with me!!

This is the yellow arrow I have been following for 500 miles! Now I will always remember to keep going forward!!!!!

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Another Plea - Breast Cancer Research Sponsorship

HI ALL!!  I am doing a charity walk for breast cancer research in May.  Its called the Moonwalk - its a marathon length (26.2 miles or 42.2km for those of you that need reminding) walk around the streets of London - OVERNIGHT!

I have to raise £200, which is a big goal considering I am out of the country for most of the time up until then.  I would be very appreciative of all of your donations - as would the "Walk the Walk" charity who hosts the event.

Please use the following link to sponsor me:  http://www.walkthewalkfundraising.org/Jacquelyn_Edwards

Thank you!!

The End!!

I have reached the end of my camino!! I have arrived in Santiago de Compostela in one piece (mostly).

I woke up and left early this morning (about 7:15) so I could beat the masses of people that had to leave at 8 from my last Albergue. I had a peaceful walk through the city before most people were awake. The birds were singing and everything was happy. It was a much more peaceful walk than I imagined. I am so happy I left early!!

There were 3 other pilgrims arriving when I did. Two was the super crabby couple (British I think) that I have seen along the way. They never smile...luckily another smiling man was with them and he took some pictures for me!! :)

Now it is too early to get my compostela (certificate)...so after standing outside the cathedral contemplating my hotel situation...I decided to treat myself! I am going to stay in the Parador!! This is one of the most expensive hotels in Santiago! Its a converted 15th century building on the same square as the cathedral! Wow I am going to be posh now!!!! After spending more than a month sharing rooms and toilets and sleeping in bunk beds - I am going to be a real person and have my own room! With a bathtub!!! Its cheaper than I expected too!! So I have taken it for 2 nights!! And it includes breakfast!!! I am so excited :). But of course because it is only 8:30 - my room isn't ready yet!! So she has my mobile number and will call me when its available! They have taken y bag and my stick so I can walk around freely!! Wow!! That's what I wanted! I would never have done that if I arrived yesterday!!

So now I sit behind the cathedral eating a waffle and drinking hot chocolate! Smiling because I just walked 800km!!!! It feels good!!!! I am a happy pilgrim - but wait...I am not a pilgrim anymore!!! Soon I will be clean and fresh! Hopefully my room will be ready by 10:00 and I will have a bath!! What luxury! And clean blankets!! I love my credit card!!! The one thing I have learned about myself on this journey...I can rough it with everyone else, but I prefer to just pay someone else to do it for me :p. Lesson learned!! It was fun being a dirty pilgrim - now I look forward to being a clean Jacquie!!!

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Friday, 29 April 2011

First views of Santiago!

Ok...I found the viewing point for Santiago! There is a second monument with 2 peregrino statues! We got there as the sun was going down! Perfect!! So here are a few pictures (kinda dark and blurry on my BB) of my first views of Santiago and the cathedral!!

Now to sleep so I can get up and walk the last 5km bright and happy!!!

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Not the last day!!

So-even though I only had 20km to go to Santiago...I have decided to stay on the camino on more day!

I have stopped in Monte del Gozo - which is about 5km from Santiago. I was going to take a lovely picture for everyone of Santiago because this is the first place you are supposed to be able to see the city and cathedral from - but the trees are all grown and you can't see anything now :p

I walked with some of my old companions today. They were a few km ahead of me so they waited this morning. They went on the Santiago. But I stopped here to be able to arrive fresh in the morning. Plus its one last cheap bed before I get into the city and pay for a hotel (what a luxury...maybe I'll even get a bath)!! I'll have 2 nights in Santiago anyways since my flight isn't til Monday so that's enough! Today was a nice relaxing 15km and now I am showered and relaxed and reading my book.

Seems like a lot of the people I was with last night are staying here tonight. Actually - just in general a lot of people are staying here tonight! This might not be the relaxing peaceful walk into Santiago that I was picturing as apparently everyone has the same idea as me. Hhmmmm...oh well! This should let me find a hotel room in town tomorrow as I'll arrive early. Although it is the weekend and apparently you are supposed to book ahead. Well, if I can't find a hotel there is always another night in the Albergue. I have a feeling tomorrow night will be a bit of a celebration so I don't need a nice bed anyways.

So that's it. Tomorrow hopefully I'll be up early for a nice stroll into town (preferably before all the traffic starts so I might have to leave super early...) And then I'll visit the cathedral, get my compostela, find a bed, maybe go to mass (although might save that for Sunday) and oh!! Some shopping! Hopefully I can find a new outfit so I can stop wearing the same ratty clothes!!!

I have no pics on here from today! It was kind of an ugly walk. And there were so many people! Absolute hordes! If I ever did this again I would stop in Sarria. After that there were too many people and its just not as nice as the rest of the route.

I'll write more tomorrow from santiago with hopefully a couple nice pictures!
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