- Distance Today 8.5 mi
- Distance Camino 2017 494.2mi
Our final day on Camino 2017! Today started out much like the last few. Foggy, lots of pilgrims, walking on roads… initially few or no cars, then as we got closer to Santiago, we essentially walked in city traffic for the final 3 miles.
We stopped at our hotel, Casa de Peregrino (80€) and checked in, left our bags in the room then walked by the Catedral, without stopping on our way to the pilgrim’s office to get our Compestelas. When we finally arrived at the no-so-well marked-location, the waiting time in line was 1:30-2:00 hours. We decided to come back later.
Plan B, we walked on to the train station to buy tickets to Madrid. Our preference was to take the Oct 8 afternoon train, but it was completely booked, leaving only an Oct 8, 6am train or a 3:12pm train on 7 October, so we opted for two tickets on the Oct 7 afternoon train (142€ for non-stop, first class including a 25% senior discount).
After already walking 8.5 miles to Santiago then at least another mile to the pilgrim’s office and train station, our feet demanded we take a taxi (5.80€) back to our hotel, which we did.
It was 1:30, but before we ate, Jim walked another few blocks to Ivar Renke’s office(Camino Forum) and retrieved the extra clothing we mailed to him from Leon on Sept 8, to hold for us. Our box of extras was waiting for Jim and he thanked Ivar and greatfully gave him 20€ for this priceless service for pilgrims.
Jim returned to the hotel and we walked across the street for a 2:00 lunch. We had fun conversations with several pilgrims, a couple from Raleigh, NC, Alex from Liverpool, England and two other gentlemen, one from Poland and the other from Germany.
The rest of the afternoon we spent getting showers, booking a hotel in Madrid for our return trip, matching our now firm train reservations and doing triage on the box of extra stuff for the return trip home.
We decided to try again to get our Compostela, so we returned to the pilgrim office and got in the still long, but not as long line at 5:30. There were 17 stations, each issuing Compostelas and apparently the wait in line is 1.5-2.0 hours nonstop from 8 am to 7 pm. every day.
Alas, at precisely 7:13 p.m. we received our Compostelas and Certificados de Distancia thus bringing to a close, Camino 2017.