Spent the day in Santiago meeting hikers coming into the Cathedral area. Emotional day for many folks who became friends and probably will never see each other again. The line of hikers is where you end your hike and wait to get your certificate.
The young man in the blue sweater is Ben from Britain.
The girl in green is Lizzie from Munich, Germany.
One guy rode his donkey to town.
The photo with the tall Hispanic man in the middle is Jorge. Our group met him off and on the past couple weeks. If there was a guitar available, he would play and folks would sing. He was fluent in Spanish and English so that was helpful. Yesterday he hiked along into Santiago with us. He was very helpful getting us through the maze of roads and alleys leading to the pilgrim office. As we waited in line to get our Compostela, a man approached me and asked if we were a group. “A group of four,” I said, followed immediately by, “We have five.” He took us out of the long line and had us fill out a form with a number of questions. One question was occupation. When Jorge signed his form, he wrote priest. Nobody hiking with him knew he was a priest from Los Angeles, California. One of our group immediately apologized for cussing in his presence. He said he just wanted to be one of the hikers. You just never know who you’re hiking with out here.
There is a convent here that also gives out Compostela’s; however, they only issue them once every 100 years. It’s my good fortune that 2014 is the year. I thought about waiting for the next one, but since I was in town anyway, I picked one up. Didn’t really want to plan that far ahead. I’d be 163 years old and might be dwelling elsewhere. I’ll post a picture of that soon.
Tomorrow morning I’ll put the hiking shoes on and head for Finisterre and the edge of the world.