Day 34 – Monte do Gozo to Santiago de Compostela – 4.7 km

Well the moment finally arrived around 10.00am this morning. Thirty four days and 500 miles after setting out from St Jean we walked into the Praza Obradoiro and gazed up at the the Western facade and the towers of Santiago Cathedral. Lou , double Felix and myself had walked the last few km together and were soon joined by Forrest and other familiar faces. There were hugs and congratulations all round and a few tears too. Peter was there , having reached Santiago 2 days ago , and was just about to set off for Finisterre. We also saw Joan and a host of others I’d not seen in a few weeks.

After the photographs were all taken we walked into the Cathedral around 11.15am to take our seats for the daily Midday Pilgrims Mass. The pews filled up very quickly and there was standing room only by the time Mass began. We were told that the famous ” Botafumeiro ” would be swung at Mass today. This isn’t a daily occurrence so we were lucky to see this spectacle. The Botafumeiro is an enormous thurible ( incense burner ) weighing 80kg which is swung from a very long rope in the central nave at the end of the Pilgrims Mass. It’s original function , as well as carrying the prayers of the faithful up to Heaven , was to mask the smell of all the Pilgrims who had assembled here having walked from all over Europe. I have taken a video of it today and will post it to the blog when I get home.

After Mass we queued up at the Pilgrims Office to collect our ” Compostela “. You need to show your stamped Credential in order to receive this certificate that confirms you have completed your pilgrimage. It is all in Latin and my name is recorded as Danielem McAllister. A Mexican Pilgrim told me at Mass that now I have the Compostela if I then go to confession within 15 days and also receive communion I will receive a Plenery Indulgence. I will double check on this as I thought that was only the case in Holy Years ( years when the Feast of Santiago falls on a Sunday ). Of course I won’t turn down the chance to wipe the slate clean if he turns out to be right…..

After Mass I booked into a hotel to try and catch up on some sleep . Tomorrow I plan to catch the bus to Finisterre to do the ritual dipping of the feet in the Atlantic followed by the burning of the socks. Believe me they need burning ! .

Felix S , Lou , myself and Felix F on arrival in Praza da Obradoiro Santiago

Felix S , Lou and Felix F
Felix S , Lou , Felix F and Forrest
Peter and Felix
Cathedral from Praya da Obradoiro
Lou and Anna
Lou and Anna

Santiago Matamoros Santiago Cathedral
My Compostela

15 thoughts on “Day 34 – Monte do Gozo to Santiago de Compostela – 4.7 km

  1. Well done, Danny. Congrats from the west of Ireland.

    And our Rovers got a last minute winner too! Celebrate [I’m havin’ a lager] and keep in touch.

    It’s been fun walking with you, and I’m not even tired.

    “Ni neart go cur le cheile”

    1. A last minute winner , so my prayers to Santiago were answered ! Thanks also to you Ged for all the laughs you’ve given to me and a bunch of other Pilgrims along the way. Watch out for some unfamiliar faces turning up in ” The Collie ” in search of Ged and Uncle John : )

  2. Well done Dr M!! I’ve been following your blog with interest and amusement since John L (a mutual friend – despite his support of Burnley) told me you were doing the Camino. I read ‘Spanish Steps’ a while ago and started thinking about doing a pilgrimage myself (but not with a burro!) As a ‘fallen’ Catholic, I suspect I need the redemption. Anyway, very well done – Paul S (a patient you’ve only seen once about 18 months ago. It’s not my fault I’m not ill more often). Congrats on a massive acheivement.

    1. Thanks Paul . John’s not a bad lad for a ” Dingle ” . Glad you enjoyed the blog and if you might be thinking of walking The Camino I’d be very happy to pass on some advice. Hope you can continue to avoid using my services : )

    1. Thanks for your advice and encouragement Michael. It feels great to have completed it and have a few days rest here in Santiago . As you might imagine we tied one on last night and we’re all hungover today so Finisterre didn’t happen. I’ll go there tomorrow morning on the bus then I’m flying home Tuesday. Will call over to you for a chat if you are around in the next week.

  3. Huge congrats Danny Boy from the East of Ireland, it looks and sounds amazing, I look forward to the burning of the socks myself…look forward to catching up with you when you grace our shores

    1. Thanks Anne , it does feel great to have arrived here without my leg having dropped off . It’s been a great experience . Next time I’m over in Ireland we’ll have to meet up in Dublin and I’ll tell you all about it over a pint or two.

  4. Danny,
    Congratulations! You’ve accomplished something that most will never be able to say they’ve done. You’ve been able to make great memories and new friends and I was glad to be able to go along with you, via your blog. I’ll miss the daily reading and looking at all the great pictures.
    I’ll now say good-bye, as I have to get on FB and brag about my cousin!

  5. Congratulations Danny, what a magnificent achievement! And what a wonderful, albeit at times arduous, experience! Well done on posting the blog entries as well, they have been followed with great interest and enjoyment. I hope you are resting up and enjoying a well- earned spot of R & R, and I look forward to catching up with you once you’re back home.

  6. Well done Dan, wish I could have been there at the end, Did you see the swinging (whatever they were in the Cathedral)? that is what I was talking about not seeing the film before you do the camino.


  7. Hey Danny,

    I’m Thinking of doing the Camino Primitivo later this summer/fall — I think I might have heard through the web that you were considering it too?

    All the best, Forrest

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