A short day – just 16 km to Santiago, but there were a few climbs which made the day interesting. You could be in the Praza do Obradoiro before midday if you wanted to. We decided to aim for a midday finish as I had planned to meet with someone, but I will come to that later on. We left Sigüeiro just after 7am, on learning that it would be another beautiful day.
Leaving the town, the Camino crosses the River Tambre and hugs the N-550. The final stage of the Camino Ingles follows the N-550 but rarely intersects it until closer to Santiago. It isn’t long before the Camino turns off uphill to the right and it is a welcome reprieve. Away from the road, the Camino takes you through quiet country lanes and forest paths.
We stop at the town of Marantes for a cafe con leche and coca cola. We are about 1/3 of the day done and I’m looking forward to finish. For the first time, I had planned to stay an extra day in Santiago before walking on to Finisterre. I wanted to do many things this year while in Santiago as I knew it would be a while before I arrived back here again.
Back on the trail, it was good to catch some shade in the forest. The ancient eucalyptus trees have been there for God knows how long and their smell makes their presence known. Another coffee and sello opportunity presents itself at Formaris. Hotel Castro is located right beside the Camino and we are greeted by Santiago himself.
We don’t have that long left now and the big city is a stone’s throw away. Things start to get a bit more industrial now as we leave the forest and veer back on the road. I suppose we were expecting it. Our 2nd to last sello would be at the church of San Caetano just outside of Santiago old town. A very helpful priest who looks after the church gives assistance to pilgrims passing by. Do visit if you get a chance. It would be one of the few churches I visited on this Camino.
I was surprised how quickly I saw the spires of the Cathedral once I arrived in Santiago. We arrived on a different side to the French way or the Portuguese Way. With the French way, I just followed the crowds…on the Portuguese Way, we got lost and needed to use directions but it was easy on the Camino Ingles despite the lack of pilgrims.
I was delighted to arrive in the Praza before noon with a big smile on my face. I was in Santiago again and what a glorious day! I dropped my bags and asked the nearest pilgrim to take a picture of Ray and myself.
I had been in contact with Linda from Somewhereslowly.com throughout the day. She had started her Camino from Rabanal del Camino on the French Way a number of weeks prior and by chance, our dates of arrival would meet. So I would wait for her in the Praza until she arrived. Luckily enough, I didn’t have to wait too long and she walked in with the sun beating down. Naturally enough, I was delighted for her and we celebrated by finding the nearest place of shade and some cool drinks.
Later in the evening, we ate out in Tapas Petiscos Do Cardeal, on Rua do Franco and had a cold beverage afterward. We managed to catch the Tuna do Derecho band afterward. They play every night in the Praza do Obradoiro and have great audience interaction. It’s not often a pilgrim sees the Cathedral lit up at night – most albergues have curfews. I was lucky enough to be staying in Santiago KM.0 who let you come and go as you choose.
Another day in Santiago before we wander to the sea.