Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monte del Gozo to Santiago de Compostela

A quick correction on the Albergue ( compound) it is actually much bigger than I thought. 22 buildings each housing at least 150 pilgrims. It isn´t anywhere near full,I think only two building are full of pilgrims right now.

I´m happy to be packing my sleeping bag for the last time this morning.. a hotel for the last few days is on the horizon for me!

Everyone in my room is up very early today, so I am too. I leave much earlier than expected (7:30) and stop at a cafe for breakfast.

It isn´t long before I am walking over a bridge with speeding highway traffic below. I think this is a subtle reminder for me to not get caught up in the craziness of life when I return home, but to live in the moment of each day, every day.

The approach to Santiago is a little disappointing, so many buildings that you really can´t get a panoramic view of the cathedral. I´m here, at the end, but not quite sure if I´m really in the right place. I walk around a little, trying to figure out where to go to get my offical certificate ( written in Latin). I find two pilgrims who speak English and they point me in the right direction.

Two women begin following me, I sense they are not pilgrims, yet they also want to go to the credentialing office. As we climb the steps they tell me they are journalists, doing a story on the Camino. Now, I must backtrack a little to last night when I checked into the Albergue... Manuel checks me in and sees I am from the United States, and tells me that some Journalists, from Chicago just interviewed him for a story and went on to Santiago. They are looking for more Americans to interview ( there are very few on the Camino) He gives me the woman´s name and tells me where she is staying. I laugh to myself, even if I wanted to find them in Santiago, there is no way that I ever would.

So, as serendipity would have it, the two women who follow me into the office are part of the same group who interviewed Manuel. When they find out that I am American, AND from Champaign, they are thrilled. They follow me in to get my papers, take my picture, get my email and will be in touch. One of the women used to work for the Chicago tribune. She said she isn´t sure yet where the story will end up. I still can´t believe our paths crossed!

The pilgrim´s mass was packed, I´m guessing 1000 people, maybe. It was nice to see so many people I had met along the way, and disappointing to not see others ( I haven´t seen Sally or Katie yet). I think I´ll go each day (at noon) to see if any of the people I have met, come in the next few days while I am here.

This is getting long today, and so much more to say. I think I´ll save some posting for tomorrow.

Until next time...


  1. CONGRATULATIONS! I am so very happy you made it all in one piece and safe and sound! I'm actually sitting here trying not to cry so grateful that you completed it...i know this was a HUGE taking for you and i know you are going to be a much better woman for doing so---not that you weren't that bad in the first place :) Enjoy your last days of rest and I do hope you hook up with all of your new friends. take care - love ya- angela

  2. Congratulations from Georgeann and I ... we admire long-distance walkers! It's been a pleasure following your trek across Spain and journey of exploration. Very well done!

  3. Congratulations Cherry, I mean Terri! I can't believe the reporters found you! It would be great to have some of your journey in an article! Looking forward to seeing all the pictures and those rough and tough feet of yours, not to mention those leg muscles! Good news I took 2 semesters of high school latin so I can read your certificate for you....well maybe not, high school and latin class where a long time ago! Here's to all of the journey's ahead! Love you, Shelly

  4. Terri,
    Maybe you know a little how Ponce de Leon felt. He never found the Fountain of Youth, but he did find Florida! Google says he was from Santervas de Campos, Spain. I don't remember if you went through there or not... Anyway, congratulations. It's been great to read along with you on your journey. We'll see you soon.


  5. Terri
    Congratulations on finishing the journey....pack and all!!!! You are avery strong women in many ways. I too, am looking forward to your pics and your stories. Luv-

  6. (from Mevanee and Phill) Terri, congratulations on finishing the walk and beginning to plumb the depths of the treasure this time has been for you. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  7. Hi Ter,
    Congrats!!! You did it! Rest and healing await you now. Not to mention lots of folks who love you alot. We are all so proud of you. I love hearing your perspective on things, I always have. I sometimes think"I wonder what Terri would say!" Anywho, your fans await your arrival back in the states, and hopefully in CAMINO magazine :0) I knew her when....Much love, Salu...Judy (Shalom)