One year ago today 10/13 Santiago de Compostella

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

Here we are as we get ready to set out, my Camnho family, from the past few days, Sellas, Kirsten, Celine and Ulrika, Brigite was missing when I took the photo.

It was dark when we set out, but as we approached the city we still needed some stamps in our Pilgrim Passport for the day, one from a cafe and one from the pilgrim office.

Everybody is in high spirits, whatever pains, blisters etc are all forgotten. Our eyes are now on the city and reaching the Cathedral. Several people are emotional.

We see the sun rising over the city. As we enter the city we find a cafe open, and stop for breakfast, coffee con leche and pastries. And a stamp for our passport.

My guidebook said when I set out from Lisbon that the distance was 396 miles, I have now as I enter Santiago de Compostella walked 451. Today, we only walked 11 miles after walking around the city. We set ourselves up to have a short walk today to enter Santiago de Compostella. I have booked an airbnb for my self for two nights, then will walk onto Muxia and Finisterra.But today is all about Santiago de Compostella.

We arrive at the Pilgrim office and already although it is early there is a line, at the height of the walking season they receive over 2,000 pilgrims a day. They are approaching a record for this year. As I said, there are multiple routes you can walk, all of different lengths and from different directions.

Here I am on the left after waiting in line with my Compostella, all in Latin including my name. Protected in a holder to keep it safe. I also have a new, clean pilgrim passport for my journey to Muxia and Finisterra

The Compostella is on the right. Sellas, who is the transgender person I mentioned has asked for the document in "his" new name Silas and they did this, so he is very emotional as he did not expect them to grant this.

The main square outside the cathedral, I am posting a video below, outside the cathedral and during the mass with the swinging of the Botafumeiro, the large censer. 

There are too many people, I am overwhelmed, but it is a very happy, loving time, every body is emotional.

A marker in the square. We wander around, looking at the city, the tourists the town is filled with who have not walked the Camino, pilgrims, citizens, priests, nuns, so many people.

We line up for the Pilgrim Mass and enter the Cathedral, and make a quick tour around before the service begins looking at the altars. It is very beautiful and crowded. We sit down and while we wait I write up my feelings about the day so far.

After the service we find a restaurant for lunch, Silas is catching a plane this afternoon as is Celine so it is with a heavy heart we all say good bye to each other. Ulrika disappeared, Brigitte met friends in the city.

There is so much choice of food in the city, it is hard to know where to look. The cheese shops are wonderful. 

As are the Tapas bars, as I am walking around I bump into the two Dutch ladies Yvonne and Ingrid, so gladthey made it here too. I see many people or hear about people from my Camino, who got here earlier or arecoming in shortly.

The food is delicious and entering a tapas bar for dinner I come across the South Koreans at the table next to me.

I realize I am tired, the realization I have accomplished what I set out to do is wonderful, and I find it all almost an anti-climax.So, I am looking forward to the final stage to Finisterra.

The food choices are overwhleming, and delicious. That is Octopus on the counter,but there are sardines, eggs, meat, tuna, vegetables, so many choices I am glad I have given myself a day of rest to enjoy the city.

As I walk back to my apartment, I come through the square, it is almost deserted now, the peopleselling souvenirs are gone, just a few straggling pilgrims. It is beautiful. 


I think back, not only on the day, but the whole journey, glad to have done it, overcoming the challenges. I think of all the people I have met, the views I have seen, the people who helped me along the way, knowing without them I would not have finished. I think of Andre, and send him a photo of me in the square outside the cathedral as he had asked me to do so he knew I had finished. It is a wonderful feeling and I know I will sleep well tonight.



Now to bed, till tomorrow, which is forecast to be rainy.

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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a wonderful pictorial blog series you shared with us.  Do you stay in touch with the friends you made?  

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.  A

Oct 13, 2019 07:54 AM #1
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Ron and Alexandra Seigel yes, I do, in fact I am visiting Kirsten in about a week and for Christmas, I talk and follow Silas on line, Brigitte i follow on Facebook,  and email Andre. Others, I regret I have lost touch with or simply thought I would see them again and didn't ask for their contact details at the right time.

Oct 13, 2019 08:22 AM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Nick - well, blisters be damned!  Let the journey and the adventure continue.  

Oct 13, 2019 10:01 AM #3
Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
I help clients resolve IRS tax matters


So many food options, and such beautiful sights. Thanks for sharing

Oct 13, 2019 10:59 AM #4
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543,

I do need to go back and start from the beginning. What a beautiful mass. I have never seen the incense swinging like that. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. 

Oct 13, 2019 12:26 PM #5
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Michael Jacobs it was a wonderful trip and I am looking forward to the day off in Santiago.

Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE it is a beautiful small town, and has lots of history. The food choices are wonderful and I took full advantage of them.


Oct 13, 2019 05:51 PM #6
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® The mass was all in Latin or Spanish and I did not follow at all, but the swinging of the censer is something special and we were lucky to have sat in the right place to get a good video of it. There is a story of the choir boys having filled it with pot, but not sure if it is true, you can find it on Facebook 

Oct 13, 2019 05:52 PM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

The food in those pictures looks amazing, Nick.  Your walk had to of been a life altering adventure.

Oct 13, 2019 08:43 PM #8
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Nick

So with your journey ending, what is on your agenda for your next adventure 

Oct 14, 2019 02:14 AM #9
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Myrl Jeffcoat it was and lead to some big changes in my life over the coming months and some that are still evolving.

James Dray Ihad always wanted to walk to Finisterra but did not know how long it would take to get to Santiago. When I bookedmy flight home when I was in Porto, I had calculated enough time to do that barring any accidents. So, I have a day here in Santiago, then will head out to Finisterra via Muxia which is abut another 100 miles. So, not quite finished. Several friends have since walked the Camino Portugues Coastal route, from Porto and I may do that when I get the time, but there are plenty of different routes to explore and all are attractive for different reasons. I just saw a young man had walked from Kiel via various routes and walked 4135 km, that is walking.

Oct 14, 2019 04:33 AM #10
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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