El Camino: Rua to Santiago de Compostela

Today’s trek: Rua to Santiago de Compostela

We had only to walk about 18km or 11.25 miles. There was nothing to hurry for. Nothing to particularly see. As we walked we seemed to float along a path, not hovering, but somehow lighter on our feet than normal.  

The sky remained dark well into the 800 hour. The clerk at reception said it won’t rain. Maybe tomorrow in Santiago, and she shook her head knowingly. 

We scurried to eat breakfast and with one last adjustment I tossed my rain coat between my pack’s lid and the main compartment. 

People seemed to stream into the path. Laughter, singing and talking sounds filled the woods. 

The marker read: Silence, stillness, present, now.   I absentmindedly repeated it over and over.  I focused on my feet and my chant until everything else fell away. 

I was snapped into reality when I realized that the most we were walking through had finally turned to a true rain complete with wind and big drops falling off trees we pases under.

People peeled off the trail to swap shoes, find their weather gear, and even eat in the relatively dry patios the cafes provided. 

We walked in the rain rarely talking because the hood on our coats prevents you from hearing clearly. It’s just not worth it to say, pardon meover and over. 

We heard an airplane overhead and realized we were near the airport. We grew excited to see a carved Santiago sign. We took turns taking each other’s pictures with a South Korean couple. He was thrilled we agreed to be in one of his pictures. 

The city seemed to rise up round us. The population and city pace always a little getting used to after being in little towns and hiking back roads. 

Our arrival to the back of the cathedral seems a little anticlimactic. We soon realized that the rest of the pilgrim world kept walking to the front so we followed.  The shear number of people in the square was pretty amazing to see. 

We congratulated ourselves and headed off to see about our certificates.   It wasn’t long before we came across many of our Camino friends; some of whom we met on day 1!  

Snacks and beer; sharing stories; making fun of each other; and clapping loudly for anyone walking by carrying a certificate created an afternoon and early evening of great fun. 

Of all the lessons this road has taught me, the value of friendship. 

The people sitting round our table has become our Camino Family. There are very few people that can relate to walking 799 km across someone else’s country. 

This bond will never be broken.

Tomorrow Finsterre. 


Siempre pa’ adelante!


About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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