- Past OR future Camino
- SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Couldn't help but notice when visiting the cathedral last week that St. James -- in addition to being off-limits for hugging -- has lost his infamous wide-eyed, startled look. I'm a little surprised that such a venerable icon can be modified so dramatically. Has anyone else noticed this? Other observations: we found a surprisingly large number of pilgrims on the trail, so much so that when joining the Frances from the del Norte we had to wait for a gaggle to pass when leaving Arzua. Bars and cafes were really busy everywhere, and unlike on previous walks we found relatively few foreigners compared to Spanish pilgrims. I would estimate that 80% or more were Spanish. We were under the impression that the traditional national vacation season was over, but apparently not as far as the Camino is concerned. Also it was very disappointing for our devout Catholic hiking companions that they just missed getting into pilgrim mass at the cathedral by a couple of positions in the queue. Seems like there ought to be a way to give entry preference to actual worshippers over "secular pilgrims" hoping to see the botafumeiro like my wife and I. Really nice weather, though, from our start in Vilalba to Santiago except for one slightly rainy day. All in all it was another wonderful experience although different from our previous walks.