Well, Liz and I are back in the UK! We spent a few days in Santiago resting and eating and meeting old friends as they came into the city. We also attended mass at the Cathedral and saw the terrifying thurible experience. The Youtube clip below shows it in action. It is seen here from the main body of the church – we were sitting in one of the transepts and it came right over our head – about 150 lbs of metal with visible flames inside being swung by five dodgy-looking priests, right up to the ceiling along the full width of the church. If they had let go . . . It was done originally to combat the smell of the pilgrims after 1,000 miles in the same clothes.
On Thursday, we hired a car and drove out to Finisterre, the end of the world, where pilgrims traditionally finished up, often throwing all their clothes into the sea in a gesture of re-birth. We did not do this but the various monuments there were moving. The photo shows me there.
So, it is all over. After a few days, I am now recovered and getting back into life. As I said in the last blog, many thanks are due to the many people who have helped and donated. I would like to use this last entry, however, to thank all the people I met along the way who were so great. In no order these include, but are not limited to: Tom from Otawa, Ken from Dublin, Jim from Glasgow, Neil and Bron from Australia with their team of Laura, Lauretta (both from Las Vegas but NOT showgirls), Fay and Jay, Simon from Melbourne, Ulrica from Germany, Terry and Carol from Canada and their daughter who joined them and who looks just like her Dad, Eric from just-outside Washington DC, Al from just-inside Washington DC where they get taxed very highly but have no congressman (they have “taxation without representation” on their number plates – I offered to arrange his succession back to England), Robert from America, Pete the chef from England, Andreas from Denmark who shot on ahead and I did not see again (shame!), Phil the author from oop north who I just caught on the last day, the friends from Finland whose names I never did get, the group of six from Spain who I could not understand at all but were always very pleased to see me, the American Korean lady who was always chasing her friend and whom I saw in the last few minutes of my visit and was due to join her friend that day at the airport, the two Irish nurses who are starting work in Exeter in a couple of weeks (can only remember one of their names and cannot spell that) and all the rest. Buen Camino to you all and God Bless You!