……… you know that moment in the Cinema – where the audience have got up to leave – and half way through the final credits – the film restarts and a moment of closure is provided for those that waited ?
💓👍🏼……. congratulations on your patience ! 😆
The emotional scenes in the Plaza de Catedral give way to ……
A 5 min walk to the Pilgrims office – queue can be 3 hours , but some random Footie ⚽️ final was on 🏆 – so only 40 mins wait – result! . Here to produce the precious multi stamped pilgrims passport – my “Credencialé” ….. more important than my actual passport as this one IS irreplaceable. Show this and if all is in order you are issued with the elaborate “Compostela”. These are my Credencialé – 2 of them due to distance.
I wondered if the final Compostella – certificate of Pilgrimage mattered – “God doesn’t collect stamps ” – “The Way is what matters” – that sort of thing.
…….. decided to be delighted by the whole process anyway ! 👌 Both Illuminated – one in Latin , as is my name -testifying to the religious significance of Camino and the other stating where I walked from , the dates of my Camino and distance – officially 799km. That’s without the detours , alternative routes and sightseeing! 😁
Staffed by volunteers- they see hundreds of people in all states of dress , elation , exhaustion and really do check you’ve actually made the journey .
There’s one common section for all on his checklist – how did you make your Camino ? Tick one.
P✅ B✅ C✅
I raised a questioning eyebrow – he says “Pie ? – Bici ? o Caballo ?” – “Todas” / All – I reply. Laughing & incredulous he says Ciérto ?! /True ? – “probar barco tambien” pointing to a 4th alternative box ; also by Boat ? …. really? – not over the Pyrenees ⛰ mate .
Happy to have my Compostelas I check into a slight 😆 step up from a €10 Alberque – the old monastery of St Martin de Pinario – 100 metres from Plaza Catedral
I love the way Pilgrims get looked after in Spain – if you can prove it with your stamped Credentialé they will give you a simple room in this marvellous place for €24 . I didn’t know that. Always next time👍🏼🙏🏽.
Or 30 seconds away – you could always try the “Parador” which I think is Spanish for Cash Mountain 😆 . That’s where we headed to start our evening with vast G&Ts’ & celebration Fizz ‘ 🍾
It’s been one of my goals of this Camino and fondest memories to re-visit this Parador – This one is the lush Hostal de Los Reyes Catolicos . I was here once before with my Dad 💕 – John Anthony (Tony) Harrison – 1982 I think – on one of his legendary – “Show my Children the World” Tours.
Restrained luxury – corridors lined with antiques.
My Caministas 😘 know this -and we all toast 🥂 – John Anthony !
He’d have loved the Craic*! and the sheer naughty giddy feeling of sitting ( with confidence! 😆) on the residents terrace . Even though we’d not paid the £283 single room rate at this place ! 🤣 Cheers Tony 🥂.
*For the Internationalé – *Craic = Irish : meaning – Fun, Enjoyment,Chat usually mixed with 🍻alcohol & music 🎶
& …..Wow – after many years I found these OLD photo prints from “back in the day” ….. same me – (green shirt) – same hotel ……. but 😮! Three and Half decades ago 🌟
….. and if the famous Botofumeiro did not swing for me this time – I’ve seen it at the right time ; below are my blurred film pics – of that trip 36 years ago.
……. and the man himself in Santiago de Compostela on that far off day …..💕
Enough ! …….. back to future …. the bells are ringing for 7.30pm Mass……
……. with enhanced 🥂 religious fervour 😁 ….and the sheer opulence of this Cathedral , the service and the dedications to weary travellers were moving and remarkable .
As the cathedral emptied – now closing time . I wanted to visit St James but the day was over , he was roped off ….. nevertheless in the best “Da Vinci Code” 🤔 dark crypt tradition – I paid my solo respects below the altar.
…… Time had got away with me and by the time I read Pope JP2’s moving message in the darkness ………..
…… exhorting “Old Europe” to use its established power for good – the Cathedral was empty and about to lock up.
I surfaced – and as vigilant Cathedral security waved from the main door 200 metres away that I should hurry ………
I passed under THIS – oddly still , unexpected , more resonant , due to the silence , no frenzied swinging or show …… Small ……. Just…..there…..quiet …Wonderful.
The whole journey now seemed complete , fulfilled , a full circle , this quiet minute an appropriate ending …… Even if it did take 36 years to do it . 💕
…. and NOW – it IS time for the final credits! The Caminista roll of honour – all the folk I can remember – you guys made it for me . My thanks , hugs and appreciation…….. “it’s been emotional”
🔘 Ian Harrison ©️2018 🔘
Credits courtesy of Annabel Harrison – tap / copy & expand to see your name – 👍🏼 Great work ‘bel💓💕
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