At 1200 each day there is a mass in the cathedral of Santiago dedicated to the pilgrims. I missed the mass yesterday as I did the last 20km in and went right to the pilgrim office to get my certificate of completion and find a hotel for the night. The mass as you can imagine is a major production. I was planning to meet with Kathy, a cousin of a friend after mass on Sunday so I assumed that one mass would be enough.
Rising after a great night’s sleep between sheets with no one else in the room was a treat. Having a leisurely breakfast was another. It is a rainy day here in Santiago today and I have to feel for those pilgrims who are just arriving. I got to the cathedral about 1040 in the pouring rain and there was a huge crowd waiting to get in. As we all stood in the rain waiting for the doors to open, I heard a voice say, “Can I get a hug”? I turned and saw that it was that wonderful New Zealand girl who I have written about but I have not seen in days. She had just completed the walk and thought she would attend the mass right away. Another great hug and another finish of an emotional day.
It is said that everyone cries at least once on the Camino. Not me, I said. The mass had all all the usual pomp but when they rose the giant incense burner and the organ began to play, I could feel the emotions welling up involuntarily and (sorry Gordy) tears filled my eyes.
I then met Kathy for a beer and we talked all about our mutual friend Tom Lujan. I assume his ears were burning.
Tomorrow I am off to Madrid and hopefully I can see Titi Fernandez If not, I am heading home on the first flight I can get on. I am slowly leaving the Camino behind