Final day in Santiago

Trip Start Sep 03, 2012
Trip End Oct 07, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Spain  , Galicia,
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I slept until 10am. Lovely silent pension. Raining outside.

Got up in time to rush to the Cathedral and see the Pilgrim Mass. In the good old days they used to swing the "botafumeiro" from side to side - something that attracts thousands nowadays but that is only done in special occasions. Although it looks liturgical, it originated from the terrible stink that pilgrims brought with themselves. So it was basically a huge pot of incense to avoid the priest fainting due the stink of the pilgrims.

It wasn't swinging today either as its too costly to employ twelve people to do so. But it was hanging from the ceiling.

The cathedral was packed. Huge organised groups which had not been evident during the walk but which now explain some of the bottlenecks in the albergues. There was a group of 54 Filipinos, alone sufficient to clog any of the Camino villages. Also a huge group of Czechs.

I walked around the inside as the priest read out the countries where people had arrived from. Luckily I didn't give a damn about what he said, but I'm sure the pilgrims felt very let down by the way he was rushing through the list "20 americans, 15 english, 54 spaniards from Madrid, Seville, Barcelona...bla bla bla". He put absolutely no emotion into it and obviously just wanted to get the mass over and done with. After 30 days walk its probably not what believers expect.

Luckily they still had the confession boxes to go to. There are about ten wooden confession boxes on each side. Not all of them have a priest inside. I walked along and one English guy was confessing - something about voting Labour. All of the priests were well into their eighties and seemed to have been woken up from their siesta and placed into the boxes to doze of again.

The rest of the day I spent shopping around for books and other bits. I could finally buy heavier things and some souvenirs.

The phrases of the day:

A- Having breakfast: a usual client arrived at the bar and asked for a wine. The bar man asked him "abres la boca o te pongo un vaso" (are you going to open your mouth or shall I use a glass).

B- Australian guy during lunch saying that he had tried both Galician tequilas. The yellow tequila and the white tequila...which they are not of course (orujo and orujo de hierbas).
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