Day 4: Arca to Santiago de Compostella 20km
I finished the blog post yesterday before we went for our meal last night so I have to start Day 4’s blog from then. We joined a lovely couple from Belgium, Ann and Etienne. They told us that 6 years ago they started their journey from their doorstep in Belgium! Then on and off for the next 6 years in 10 to 15 day stints they have travelled further and further to reach their final destination Santiago de Compostela. We felt so privaliged to have met them the night before they achieved their goal. Their 3 daughters were going to meet them in Santiago today to celebrate with them in their accomplishments.
This morning we set off on our final days walk. The way today took us through more forests and we got the lovely aroma of eucalyptus from the trees as we passed through the forest. We didn’t take a break today. We had such a lovely hot breakfast at our accommodation it lasted us. Plus I had a few aches and I was afraid if I stopped midway I wouldn’t be able to start again! I was pretty slow today so I spent a lot of the walk alone with my thoughts. I was thinking that this kind of holiday is suitable for all ages from families with children, groups of teenagers, retired people and those travelling on their own. We met plenty of people walking alone. The thing is you’re never really on your own for very long. There is a lovely comardarie while your walking. As I was shuffling along a concerned man stopped with me to see was I ok! There is always an ‘Hola’ or ‘Buen Camino’ from passers by. Sometimes you get chatting together as you walk until they move on. As we passed through a small village called A Lavacalla we spotted a family of 2 adults and 2 children walking along. As we got closer to them we realised they were a family of 6 not 4! The Dad was pushing a double cart buggy with two more kids comfortably relaxed inside, taking it all in! They had set out 10 days ago from Sarria. The two older kids had walked all the way. Groups of teenagers are another common site along the Camino be it with their school or a youth group.
Shortly after passing this family you could sense we were approaching the outskirts of Santiago de Compostella as buildings were becoming more urban looking and there were a lot of industrial premises, not as picturesque a landscape as before. We entered Santiago going in through the new part of the city which really is not very nice at all and I kind of felt a little deflated because all you want to see is the cathedral. It is another 3km until you see the cathedral but in a way this entrance set us up for a lovely surprise. When the more modern buildings and shopfronts started melting away and the old more traditional Spanish buildings started appearing we knew we were nearly there. Through a few more cobbled and winding streets and the square opened up to reveal the cathedral in all its glory! There is mass at 12.00 everyday for pilgrims but we didn’t make it today. After we took a multitude of pictures we made our way to our hotel the 4 star Hotel Compostella. Hot shower and room service and we’re happy out! We eat in the restaurant O’42 tonight and I’m looking forward to that already as it is situated on a gorgeous little street with plenty of other restaurants and bars.
After our 4 days walking we both agree we will be back! There are so many routes to take you to Santiago de Compostella and so many reasons to become a pilgrim.
We hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on our trip. We hope you have found them informative but above all inspiring.
If you have a reason to walk the Camino why not contact us and allow us to make the arrangements to get you there and you do the rest.