Day 18/19: O Pino to Santiago

Day 18/19: O Pino to Santiago

There are no words to express the mixed feelings we get when we arrive in Santiago. It is always a happy/sad time. Already we miss the journey of the Camino del Norte: the ocean views, beaches, fishing ports, hamlets, farmers, peregrinos, cows, chickens, sheep, goats, mountains, even the windmills looming overhead. 😢 

Walking the Camino is like nothing else. When can you be in a mix of like-minded people from various corners of the world walking in the same direction, along the same path, with their own unique goals in mind?

Today we went to the cathedral for mass which was in Spanish. I couldn’t pick out enough words to make sense of what was said but did hear the words “Canada” and “peregrinos” so assume the arrival of Canadians was acknowledged. 😃 

When Mass was over, eight men in burgundy robes filed in and lowered Botafumiero, getting ready to swing it. They say the use of a swinging censer like Botafumiero began in the 11th century to help cover the stench of arriving pilgrims who were unwashed. It was also believed that incense smoke had a prophylactic effect in the time of plagues and epidemics. 

As it swings, it dispenses thick clouds of incense. The swings reach heights of 21 meters, almost to the ceiling at a speed of 68 km/hr and goes on for 80 seconds of swinging. Apparently it costs a pretty penny which explains why Botafumiero doesn’t always swing. 

Dave and I are just settling in after a really fun evening! We went to the same restaurant where we ate when we arrived in Santiago the first time in 2015. Back then I took a photo of Dave through my empty wine glass. We did the same thing tonight for old time’s sake! 😂 🍷 Sometimes we do silly things when we’ve drank most of a bottle of wine between us!

On our way back to our hotel we caught sight of Santiago’s famous shadow of a pilgrim. There are four different versions of the origin of this vision. The most popular version is about a clergyman from the cathedral and a nun from a convent on the other side of the square who were having a secret affair. The priest, tired of having to hide his love, proposed to his lover to run away from Santiago, away from censoring looks. So one night he went to meet her in the square dressed as a pilgrim so as not to attract attention. It is said that he waited for her for hours but she never showed up. The shadow, in this case, represents the priest in disguise. He has never resigned himself to losing his beloved and returns every night to wait for her.

The End!

22 thoughts on “Day 18/19: O Pino to Santiago

  1. Congratulations to you both. Thanks for sharing.
    I finished my Camino Frances exactly 3 years today.
    Then 75 years old. I think Japan next year for us. Closer to Aussie. Safe travels home.

    1. Oh, Juliet, that would be amazing to do one of the Japanese Caminos and get you dual Compostela. We have thought about that, too. Keep in touch!

  2. Congratulations Judy and Dave. What an amazing accomplishment. Really enjoyed following your daily journey and all the beautiful photos and stories. Thank you for sharing them. Have a wonderful last few days of your trip and safe travels home.

  3. Congratulations on completing another Camino. . . or two!!
    You have shared some marvellous photos and stories and will have another lot of wonderful memories to enjoy looking back on this winter when the rains come.
    It has been lovely to share your journey once again.

    Thank you, Judy and Dave.

    1. Thank you, Pat, for following the journey. Dave will be busy for months on putting together slide shows. The big challenge is always compiling mine with his in the right order. It’s a good winter project! 😃

  4. 🖐️U 2, congratulations . Most definitely , I will miss your daily Camino stories , but home is beckoning you , where you will develop a plan to return to the Camino . Thank you for sharing your adventures.

    1. Thanks, Trudine, for following our journey. It’s been fun telling about it. We wonder if we have another Camino in the future but time will tell. Cruising sounds good now!

  5. Hearty congratulations to you both, Judy and Dave, on another amazing accomplishment! Once again I’ve very much enjoyed following you on your Camino journey, and have loved seeing your photos and reading your stories! Enjoy the rest of your trip, and safe travels home.

    1. Thank you, Cathy. We’re so glad you enjoyed our journey. Now Dave’s job is to put together slideshows. Thanks to iPhones there are thousands of photos to work on. 😬

  6. What an amazing journey. We have been with you all of the way and have felt the love you have for the people and the places you have encountered. What memories you have made – both physical and spiritual. You will never forget. And you have brought us along for the ride. It will be hard to come home – bittersweet I am sure. Safe trip home. You will need time to adjust from that experience for sure.

    1. I’m so glad you were here with us the whole way. It’s true, Kathryn, about how coming home after such a journey is an adjustment. We’ll go to Pilgrim House today as that’s what they help people with. Tomorrow we start heading home via a stop in Toronto.

  7. Judy & Dave what an accomplishment – each Camino walk you’ve completed has brought you and your readers more interesting stories, beautiful photos and of course lasting memories. We’ll miss reading your daily adventures and seeing your photos, but look forward to connecting with you in person again soon. Rest up for the long trip home – hope we’ll still have some sunny days for you to enjoy. Safe & comfy travels.

    1. Thank you, Maggie! We look forward to getting back although all those flights are a bummer. We’ll visit our son and family near Toronto first and be home on the 11th. See you soon! 😊

  8. Well, Judy, I feel sad that this is your last post. It has been very special to follow along with you. You’ve had a remarkable time, as the Camino truly is. I’m so glad you got to experience the pilgrim’s Mass with the Butufemeiro. I always find that is a special way to top the whole thing off! Have a safe trip home and hopefully our paths will cross again soon to share more Camino stories.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed following us. The swinging of Botafumiero was a perfect ending. We got to see the swinging again from the Portico of Glory today. We do hope our paths cross with yours again, Toni!

  9. Congratulations are certainly in order for both of you! I have enjoyed your journey. Between Dave’s gift of photography and yours of writing, you make a great team. Wishing you the best for your journey back to BC, where I hope you take time to process this accomplishment, pushing through in spite of a pandemic and those “things” that get in the way of our dreams.

    1. Thank you so much, Carolyn! We’re glad you enjoyed the journey. I am so grateful it finally happened after two postponements. It will be interesting trying to process it all as we edge our way back to our other life while maintaining some of that Camino Magic.

  10. Judy, congratulations! I’m kind of sad your journey is over but very happy that you were able to accomplish it. Safe journey home.

    1. Thank you, Marjorie! We are on our way home – mid-way in Toronto now. Getting back to responsibilities in a couple days is the hard part.

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