It’s a day 54 and this is very much a rest day, and I don’t know why it is, but every time I come into Santiago my legs decide that that’s it, they had enough, and suddenly I’m developing shin splints. But we have another six days walking to go, so I will have to make sure that I do have a good rest today. I’ll be using the foam roller on my shins and putting in plenty of pain relief gel because tomorrow morning bright and early, I am setting off to Finisterre whether my legs will like it or not.
Of course, an important part of the rest day will be visiting the cathedral because I was having a rest day I didn’t do that today. I arrived yesterday, but I’ll be going to the cathedral during a quieter period today. I’m not sure if I’ll attend the mass. I’ve attended many of them before. It is a wonderful experience, maybe I’ll go to the midday mass. I like to visit the cathedral at a more quiet time and go up and hug the apostle, spend time in reflection just sitting in the cathedral, and of course, going down into the crypt where the the bones of Saint James are buried. A quiet time of reflection I think is nice in the cathedral, so I’ll certainly be doing that today.
First thing, this morning I went down to the Pilgrims office. I got down there quite early and there’s a really nice cafe just up from the Pilgrims office that does breakfast. I had a coffee and some toast there and then join the queue for the Compostela’s. I have to say the new process works really well. So, they put up QR codes outside the office so that you can scan that and enter all your details before entering the office and the whole process is much more automated now. Also, you can go to the pilgrim’s office website and put all your details in a day or two before you arrive into Santiago. So, by the time the doors opened to me walking out with my Compostela and distance certificate was about 10 minutes. Last time it took Me 2 1/2 hours. So, the new process works really well.
And then after that I went up to Ivar’s storage facility and retrieved a couple of mailing tubes, so I’ve just tipped those out onto the hotel floor and worked out what’s in there. I’m going to repack everything today because I want to do my last six days walking with as little gear as possible. I really want to lighten the load. I’ve already booked some accommodation. I’m staying in little hostels in casa rurals so I won’t need my sleeping bag and that kind of stuff. I’m debating whether to take the foam roller and knee supports because I haven’t really used them very much so far, although my knees are starting to hurt a bit. But I’m going to strip down my gear as much as possible so that I can do this last six days with a fairly light pack and I won’t be carrying as much water or food or anything as well. So, I’m really looking forward to these last six days because for me it’ll be kind of a wind down (I was going to say detox, but that’s not really the right word). It’ll be an opportunity to just walk a little bit slower. I’ve kind of finished my Camino. I reached the destination and here’s an opportunity just to wind down and reflect and process what the journey’s all been about. And I look forward to reaching Muxia and sitting on the rocks there and reflecting on the whole journey before heading home.