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Compostella

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We found the pilgrim office easily, well signposted and practically deserted. There were a few other pilgrims collecting their Compostella's or Certificate de Distance where the pilgrimage was for non religious reasons or they just wanted that. I confess to tears as received mine. The guy issuing it had grasped my hand warmly as I took it from him, saw my tears, got up came round the counter and hugged me whispering a short prayer in my ear. I returned the compliment and thought what a caring and sensitive gesture it was.

On the way out of the office we paused to pray in the pilgrim chapel before taking a couple of celebration photographs which you may have seen kelsewhere.

We now have the Semana Santa programme from the Cathedral and look forward to a rather different Holy Week to the usual one at home.






Lavacolla to Santiago

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This morning began with a pleasant surprise that our bill for food yesterday was so low. Our menu Peregrino's lunch, tablecloths, napkins, waiter service, three courses, all "Friday Friendly", including wine came to 10€ each.

Outside as we discovered we were being blessed with rain and sleet to encourage our last mornings walk. By the time we had completed 4 km Nikki was soaked through. She had also managed several hills too, without a break. #proudhusband . We stopped for a coffee at a small campsite cafe.

As Nikki's Facebook page mentioned, she met a Camino Angel here. An older lady had watched her come into the cafe, seen her soaking wet top and vanished , reappearing a few moments later with a brand new, dry, Camino top from a nearby market stall. She gave it to Nikki with some Spanish we did not understand, but it was clearly a gift, and a much appreciated one too. May she be truly and richly blessed for her act of mercy. The shirt appears in the photos.

Onward…

Santa Irene to Lavacolla

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The walk today was a gentle 12 km through the countryside. We stopped at a couple of cafe's for coffee and refreshment and of course the Servicio moment. We passed a number of pilgrim signs in various places. I took a group photo for an excited bunch of Italian pilgrims which they appreciated. We passed Santiago Airport (CDQ) which Nikki arrived at last Saturday. At the end of the shorter stage today we stopped at Lavacolla.

 This village of Lavacolla is where the pilgrims in earlier years stopped to ritually cleanse themselves before heading on to Santiago. We revisited that particular ritual with a thorough shower in nice hot water. The guidebook says that the original water source is "putrid" now, so we have adapted it a little.
The pension we are staying at today had a fab menu peregrino. We had fish soup and a grilled fish Plato segundo. As ever I had vino tinto but today Nikki was on Agua because of the antibiotics. C'est la vie.

We reflect that each of us, es…

Arzua to Santa Irene

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Today our journey was mainly through woodland and country tracks. At the back of mind was the John Denver classic of my youth "country roads" . It certainly wasn't West Virginia although there were plenty of American accents around. It was a bright sunny morning and turned from freezing to take your coat off by early afternoon. When the sun comes out the cafe bars open and today we enjoyed a couple along the way. It was nice enough to sit outside at one. So coffee, coke, and some pinchos made a refreshing lunch. There was a fab camillia in the garden too.

At one point the ever active graffiti artists had altered the sign for a small hamlet called  Suso" into "Super-Suso" which reminded us of  good friends we have called Sue. This picture is included by way of prayerful thanks for their love and support. You know who you are.

Tonight we are in a Xunta hostel just outside the hamlet of Santa Irene, named after an early Christian martyr. We have been munchin…

Casanova to Arzua

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An eventful day after a peaceful night where Nikki and I were the only two people staying at the Casanova Albergue. We started out knowing that a call at a Centro Salud was going to be needed as Nikki's wheezing and coughing was not improving. The walking in the morning was fab. A light dusting of frost on the ground and sunshine could have fooled us into thinking that it was Autumn rather than the first day of Spring. We came across a rather cute stone bridge, and one or two other lovely views.

As we approached Melide at around Km 55, we got our Credentials stamped and sealed in wax - you never know what is coming next on the Camino! The man offering the service for a small donation was a Paralympic athlete, he also had various items, mainly t-shirts for sale. He spoke good English and was able to tell us where the health centre was and more importantly how to get there.

Nikki was duly signed in when we arrived using the passport and EHIC card. A few minutes later and we have a …

Night time

Ok so it's now 3.35 am and I have been awake since 2 am. The aroma and noise of around 40 pilgrims "sleeping" in a large dormitory with no ventilation is an experience in itself. Add to this the Germans, and yes it usually is in my limited experience, Germans; who think they are whispering "sotto voce" but couldn't if their lives depended upon it- and they are on the top bunks above my head... there is snoring that puts mine to shame, and I have already had to "persuade" the pilgrim next to me using my size 12 that  6€ ticket only entitles you to one bed, and that does not include mine. Perhaps it is a good thing that journeys end is in mental, if not visual sight. There is a human limit to all our patience and charity no matter how hard we try. P.S. I may have snored loudly earlier in the evening, in which case someone else is probably writing a similar and equally charitable blog!!!


Casanova

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Well that's name I would not have expected to appear in this blog, Casanova.

We spent today "stalking" a dad and his young son walking the Camino. They were our companions overnight at Eirexe and left before us in the morning. We came across them several times along the way, lastly in Casanova, where we are spending the night, they were going on to Melide.

During our journeying today we came across some amazingly big ants in a garden... munched a fab bacon and cheese bocadillo... got the requisite number of stamps in our credentials and saw lots of these interesting farm outbuildings too.

It has been tough going for Nikki who has an awkward pair of blisters and we had some first aid to do along the way. Eventually we found a cafe open and at that point an Albergue was what we needed. When we asked one of the ladies serving in the cafe where the nearest one was, she laughed and said "metros".  As we left she came out with us, pointed 20 m up the road and said &…