Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Sorry to be behind in my blogging. The last two days have been a breathtaking whirlwind. We arrived at Monte do Gozo as planned. We called it Peregrino City. There are blocks and blocks of rooms, bars, restaurant, mercado, souvenir shop, and clothes lines to hang your laundry. From the top of the hill we could just see the spires of the cathedral through the trees. Four kilometers away was the destination we had dreamed of for six weeks. That feeling of joy was surpassed the next day as we wended our way through the streets of Santiago, catching glimpses of the cathedral and then losing sight of it, until suddenly-- there it was. This photo of the cathedral is not a great one, but it was taken the first moment I saw it in front of me. Before we could enter the cathedral we had to go to the Pilgrim Office and obtain our Compostela. The second photo shows the line of pilgrims behind me waiting to go through the process. There was an equal number of pilgrims before me. When we reached the office, a row of young women behind a counter called the next pilgrim to come up and show their credential. They examined the stamps we had acquired along the way as we filled out a form, and then, convinced we had walked the required number of kilometers, put our names on our Compostelas. We hugged each other in joy. Our goal was accomplished.
It remained to go through the pilgrim rituals of going to midday mass, touching the hand of the small statue of Santiago, hugging the large statue of Santiago that looked over the sanctuary, and visiting the crypt or reliquary below. The day we were there it happened to be the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, so the bishop was there and actually gave the homily which my Spanish-speaking friends said was very good. We were also fortunate that someone had donated the money for the swinging of the botofumiero, the giant incense burner that, with great ceremony, is hoisted up and down and swung back and forth, lifting our prayers to heaven with the smoke of frankincense suffusing the air as a young man (priest or initiate) sang a moving song of praise. Unfortunately, to my way of thinking, the congregation burst into applause at the end, as if it were a spectacular show of some kind, instead of a beautiful religious ritual. That was our day yesterday. I have many decisions to make about getting home and much to process in my mind about leaving the Camino. I will write about that later.
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  1. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Not hearing from you for so long had me worried. Now I can rejoice with you and everyone else. Proud of you and can't wait for you to be home to share your adventures. Love you, love you.

  2. Congratulations, Bev. Well done, indeed. I look forward to hearing more about the impact of your camino experiences.

  3. Yay Mom!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to talk to you about it! I'm so proud of you mom! Love you!

  4. CONGRATS! wow! Big hugs and kisses to you from the west coast family. Hope you are as proud of yourself as we all are of you. A journey of journeys. Are you pinching yourself in awe of what you have accomplished? Hopefully so. Sure you are soaking in the glory of the moment...what you are seeing and feeling.
    Will await the details...Lots of love, Leslie

  5. You made it! I knew you would - you had the guts and stamina and faith needed for the journey, and I know you will make sense of it as you make your way home and back to the life you left behind. I hope you are able to have the time you need to process - I went to my cottage for the summer when I got home from my pilgimage. As you return to the embrace of all the people who care for you, cherish the experiences you have had and the lessons learned.
    Congraulations, peregrina.

  6. Oh Bev, this is so wonderful. I can only imagine the thoughts you are experiencing. You set a huge goal and you accomplished it with grand style. God be with you as you make your way home. Does that word home mean something different now? Be safe, Love, Linda

  7. I want to thank all of you who made comments and gave your support in words and prayers. You have no idea how much it meant to me every day to see your responses and words of encouragement. Muchas Gracias!