Well, the group has dispersed to all parts of the globe. Ken and Angie and Peter and Julie are headed to Madrid for a few days and then back to Australia. Greg and Donna spending a day in Paris, then three in either Singapore or Hong Kong. Bill and Jennifer head to. Ireland for a week tomorrow. Marie to France on Wednesday. Catarina went home to Portugal yesterday and returned the van today. Arlene and I are not booked back to the states for a week. She is interested in looking for a place along the Camino to buy so she may dedicate some of,the week to that quest. Not sure what I will be doing. Taking in more,of Santiago, I guess. It is raining on and off all week and I would change my ticket but it is ridiculously expensive.
It was really wonderful time and all the people were great to get to know and easy to get along with. I think we all made lifelong friends. Last dinner tonight with Bill, Jennifer, Arlene, and Cathy and Tim, a couple from Virginia that we kept bumping into along the way. It's funny in walking a Camino how you keep bumping into the same people that you start with. You may not see them for a day or,two, but then there they are again. Friendships form. It is all part of the Camino experience. It is truly an international experience.
Lots of folks talk about being bitten by the Camino bug that draws,them back time and time again. I think everyone in our group is planning another except me. I am still digesting what I might have gotten from this experience and even the last one, and I am sure it had some effect on me, but not sure it had any life changing effect. I am pretty sure I will not do another, but who knows. I do not get a natural high from walking long distances and most of,the group appears to,do,so. I get tired feet, though I have to say my feet, and indeed my entire body held up quite well. No after pains whatsoever. I feel blessed.
Took a few,pictures in the cathedral today and more tomorrow in the cathedral and some of the interesting sights and museums in Santiago. I will become a turistico instead of a peregrino.
This is the Tree of Jesse which was fashioned in the 12 th century. Bible characters come alive in the carved marble column. The central column has Christ flanked by the apostles and directly underneath, St. James, as intercessor between Christ and the pilgrims who have been coming since the 9th century. As you can see some aspect of the cathedral is constantly under repair or reconstruction.
For centuries pilgrims have come to the marble column and placed their hand on the column as a mark of gratitude for,a,safe,journey. The millions of handprints over time wore deep marks in the column and in 2007, the officials placed a barrier around the column,to,prevent further erosion. Note the finger holes in the picture below.