Monday, 8 June 2009

Final Reflections on my Pilgrimage

After 411.6 miles, 38 days on “The Way” and 32 different beds, I arrived in Santiago de Compostela on Thursday 28th May, two days earlier than planned. The feeling of walking into the plaza in front of the cathedral is impossible to describe! Mixed emotions of joy, triumph and, strangely, a certain feeling of sadness were all there and it was hard to hold back tears. I have brought back many memories and over 500 digital photos.

So, it is a time to reflect and also a time to say ‘Thank-you’. The first thank-you is to my wife Valerie, she not only let me go, she gave me positive support and encouragement! Without her I would not even have considered it possible. Thanks also to friends here in England and further afield who have prayed for me over the past weeks. That prayer support was the reason for my inner calmness and the constant assurance of God’s presence.

Thanks to all those who have given a donation to the Farm Crisis Network. When all the promises are in, my hope of raising £500 will easily be met.

Finally, I want to put on record the kindness and help that I have received from the Spanish people themselves. I have been a sojourner in a foreign land, and from stepping off the ferry on the 27th April to driving back across Spain with Valerie and a friend, I have been treated with respect and courtesy. Nothing was too much for them to do and without the help of dozens of unknown people my pilgrimage would not have been so marvellous. Thank you all!

Photos: Santiago de Compostela

View of the Cathedral from the old town

The Holy Door (right) is only open in years when St James Day is on a Sunday. Due in 2010

Pilgrim's Mass
Thursday 28th May

The Botofumeiro is prepared

The Botofumeiro at the top of its swing across the transept, right over Terry's head

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