Thu 22 Oct - Day 38: Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela 19km

A 785 walked. 0km left to walk.

Done. Dusted. The Camino Frances has been walked end to end. The right way:
- Carrying my backpack the whole way. 
- No bus. 
- No taxi. 
- No support of any kind. 

775km according to the Pilgrim Office in Santiago de Compostela rather than the 785km that the guidebook 

I was out of a Camino albergue for the last Camino time around 7.30am. This last albergue in Pedrouzo was far too noisy and with too much light going on and off in the early morning for being able to sleep in. 

My last breakfast while walking was a delectable mix of tea, orange juice, sardines in olive oil and a banana. Hey, it worked for me. 

Coffee down the road a few kilometers and I just felt that I had to photograph the  key, if you like, to all this. The pursuit of sellos or stamps. Nothing spectacular really. Most of the time it looks like this in a corner of bar/cafe. Help yourself and fill in the fecha / date yourself. 
Closer to Santiago de Compostela, the signs look a bit different. A bit more old fashioned, down to earth like they have been around for a while. 
Getting closer all the time...
Today's stretch was mostly not a very pretty one. First through dense forest where you could see very little. Just here though it was very beautiful. 
And here too. In the mid morning light. 
Suddenly the marker for Santiago de Compostela appeared. We are within the town limits. 
Good enough reason for save the moment. Big grin on my face. 
This shell was one of my many done in concrete in a tunnel underneath a road bridge 
And this graffiti had somewhat adverse view on tourist peregrinos aka Turigrinos. You may not see it but it says in there "Turigrinos no gracias".  
When we are onto the topic of Turigrinos, the guy to the left has to be the worst example yet. Apart from all of the visible clues between him and the lady, he also suddenly as he was walking lit up a cigarette. Not worrying about who may be behind him. Which was me. And as you do. 
For those of you who may recall yesterday's post, regarding the Turigrinos who jumped off a van on a hill to then quickly disappear into a cafe, here they are. They spoke German. 
A stop in a second cafe today for a cuppa revealed some odd custom of placing copper coins against the inside wall. As you do. So I did. Add a few more copper coin to their collection. 
This Estrella Galicia beer ornament would look good in any Australian bar. 
This was the first distant glimpse of Santiago de Compostela from a distant. 
Closer to Santiago de Compostela was this monument. 
We're getting closer... 
Are we there yet? Well someone is.  
The road into the centre of Santiago de Compostela was long and went through lots of outlying areas and suburbs. Then suddenly, the cathedral was visible between the buildings...
Another building along the way had clearly misspelt our family name...
We continued into the centre of Santiago de Compostela and suddenly there it is, the cathedral. An almost mandatory photo in front of it next. And the almost mandatory scaffolding around a cathedral in any of the Mediterranean countries. 
Next it was off to the Pilgrims Office to get my credentials verified. 
Pilgrims were coming and going and at all there was almost a pilgrim traffic jam outside of it. 
As you walk through the opening, you enter a different and much more tranquil world. At least when I was there...
...and inside the Pilgrims Office it was almost empty. I had a choice of being immediately served by any one of four different people. 
So, what happens at the Pigrim Office?

First, you have to get your Credentials verified. That you have walked at least 100km and you must have at least 2 stamps for each of those days. 

No problems there. These are my Credentials at the end of my Camino. Plenty of stamps. 
You have to fill in a form with your details including why you are walking the Camino. Religious and Other. Other includes Spiritual, which can be whatever you want it to be. That entitles you to a Compostela document.

The Compostela is written in Latin. So you get your first name translated into Latin. Hans hence becomes Ioannem which I assume is Latin for Johannes. I understand that Hans is derived from Johannes. 
The Compostela document is free. In addition, for 3€ you can also get a document written in Spanish which has details on your starting place and official length of your journey. 
Of course, a 775km long walk can only be celebrated in one way. And we did. There was a bar almost opposite the entrance to the Pilgrims Office. 
At 2pm or so, it was time to check in at next 3 nights hostel very cleverly called "The Last Stamp". At this time, I could not be bothered by getting a last stamp at "The Last Stamp" despite the pun. Hey I had my Compostela now. 

My pilgrim team had decided to reconvene for more appropriate and in depth celebrations from 5pm. I took the opportunity to walk to the bus station and get an ALSA bus ticket to Oporto for Sunday. I've had only difficulties getting an online, but over the counter there were no problems and i had my ticket almost immediately. 

Aaron had brought with him a tiny little bottle of spirit, some 70% alcohol spirit with a name I have forgot, that he ceremoniously emptied in front of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral. 
Wine and food followed. I had the best food that I've had on the whole Camino. Two portions of raciones, octopus and prawns. 
Beer, beer, beer...
As we left the establishment around 10pm, filming was in progress just outside. 
I can understand why they chose this location. It looked good in the dark. 
A quick night shot of the side of the cathedral on the back to "The Last Stamp" and it was definitely bed for me. 

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