Wednesday was a great day to be in Santiago!
With a walk of only a few miles, we were at the Pilgrim Office when they opened at 10am. Our Compostela Certificates are dated November 5, exactly 40 days after we left St. Jean. Forty days is a long time. We've been taught that, when seen in scripture, it represents a long time. Now we know from experience, it is a long time.
We were blessed to be at the cathedral on this day. There was a pilgrim who walked the Camino with her father during the last few weeks. His birthday is November 5, this year being his 75th. They planned their trip so that they would arrive on that day. As a birthday present she arranged for the botafumeiro to swing on this day (this can be done for a certain "donation"). All of the attendees were able to share in this birthday present, including us!
The swinging of this large incense burner is an ancient tradition, but normally only done on special days in modern times. Legend says it was used in the old days to help mask the smell of the hundreds of pilgrims who had walked for weeks without proper cleanliness.
We had several other errands to get done in Santiago, so had a busy day, finishing it with a great meal at Casa Manolo. This is a great little restaurant about 4 blocks behind the cathedral, right on the Camino as it comes down the hill. We highly recommend it.
As we have planned all along, we are continuing to the coast. The rain is also continuing, but it lightened to more of a mist for today. We are in Negreira tonight, planning to share a supper of homemade vegetable soup with a couple of other walkers.