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Day 38: Life after My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

August 26, 2018


Today was the first day I gave myself permission to sleep in. My routine has been to get up and start walking for five weeks. It was a nice change of pace.

Philipp, Astrid, me, and Julia

I kept fairly busy despite the free day. In fact, my Garmin watch said I walked 16.21 miles today. That really surprised me.


I had a nice breakfast where I met some Americans. They completed their 100K walk from Sarria, and I told them about my walk. They want to do it someday.


I then went back to my room to turn in some laundry. After weeks of hand washing my clothes, I wanted to get everything thoroughly cleaned. So I put on the shorts and shirt I bought yesterday and turned in everything else. I then proceeded to get in line for the Pilgrim Mass at noon.

There was a Pilgrim Mass at 10:00, and I made a calculated decision that the Mass at Noon would have the best chance of seeing the Swinging Botafumeiro. Therefore, I proceeded to the entrance to get in line. However, the security guard told me to go in anyway. I did and a few minutes later they started swinging the Botafumeiro. The Mass ended and I took a seat for the Noon Mass not knowing if they would swing the Botafumeiro again. They did, and you can see the video here.


I continued walking around Santiago and recorded some birthday and anniversary videos for clients. I was wrapping things up when I noticed some details of the Cathedral that I had overlooked before. There were several pilgrim statues that were part of the structure. So I started taking additional photos and didn’t pay any attention to some nearby laughter. Finally, I looked and it was Andrea and Catherine. I had seen them several times during the past few weeks. In fact, Andrea sent me a message from Finisterre in which she said she saw my shoes that I left behind. It is always good to see people you know since I thought everyone at this point was gone. So we sat down and had a beer together.

After we separated I continued walking around looking in shops and eating some ice cream. I also ran into a small concert on one side of the Cathedral. I am including a video of one of the songs they performed.


I am sharing this photo that was taken one week ago. I miss the people I got to know on the Camino and especially miss those I started with. You may recall that The Fellowship began with Julia, Astrid, Tanja, Philipp, Petra, Szandra, and me. Tanja and Szandra eventually needed to return home as their plans did not include hiking the whole thing. Petra and Szandra fell behind but I was able to see Petra yesterday again. Nevertheless, in this photo are the three other people I was privileged to walk with at the start and at the end. From left to right the photo includes Philipp, Astrid, me, and Julia. I do miss the members of The Fellowship and the others who became part of my life during my Camino. The Camino de Santiago is a very special place.

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See additional photos from August 26th below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. This is a photo inside the Cathedral during the Pilgrim Mass. Notice the Botafumeiro hanging by a rope in the middle of the photo. My guidebook says this about the Botafumeiro: “if you’re lucky, during the daily noon Pilgrim Mass you will get to see the famous Botafumeiro in action. Literally the “smoke belcher,” the Botafumeiro is the largest censer for spreading incense smoke in the world. Weighing 175 pounds and five feet in height, the huge censer is swung back and forth from a pulley system above the altar, requiring eight men to get it reaching speeds of 80 kph. It is said the censer was installed to cover the stench of all the unwashed pilgrims. The censer is only brought out for special days, though a donation of €300 is said to sponsor an extra showing.” (NOTE: I was told at the Pilgrim Office the minimum donation is €450 but that wouldn’t guarantee it would be brought out. I am sure you can find more information on Wikipedia and the web.)

  2. This is a photo inside the Cathedral during the Pilgrim Mass. The incense in the Botafumeiro is about to be lit.

  3. This is a photo inside the Cathedral. Notice the Botafumeiro hanging by a rope in the middle of the photo.

  4. This is a photo inside the Cathedral. Notice the Botafumeiro hanging by a rope in the middle of the photo.

  5. This is a photo inside the Cathedral. Notice the Botafumeiro hanging by a rope in the middle of the photo.

  6. This is a photo of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

  7. This is a photo of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

  8. This is a photo of part of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Many of the statues you see are of the St. James.

  9. This is a photo of part of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Many of the statues you see are of the St. James.

  10. This is a photo of part of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Many of the statues you see are of the St. James.

  11. This is a photo of part of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Many of the statues you see are of the St. James.

  12. This is a photo of part of the cathedral. I can't tell you anything about these statues.

  13. This is a photo of part of the cathedral. I can't tell you anything about these statues.

  14. This is a photo of part of the cathedral. I can't tell you anything about this statue.

  15. This is a photo of part of the cathedral. I can't tell you anything about this statue.

  16. This is a photo of part of the cathedral. Many of the statues you see are of the St. James.

  17. This is a selfie in the plaza looking at the Cathedral.

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