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Reflections On My Pilgrimage – Thursday 30 June

Three weeks ago, Jane and I flew to Spain to join a team walking the final section of the ancient pilgrimage route called “El Camino de Santiago”. It was refreshing to have time away from the Internet so there are no live blog entries. However, over the next week and a half I’m planning on pondering over each day so I can retread those paths, relearn the lessons and enjoy the memories; you’re welcome to join me.

Every time we fly to Spain, we seem to end up on an early flight, which means getting up very early in the morning and then not having time to adjust to the Spanish pattern of life (staying up much later) until it’s time to come home. However, there’s only one Ryanair flight a day to Santiago de Compostela and so we were up before six getting ready to leave the house.

After a momentary panic (I’d put my house keys safely in my day-pack, so we spent a few minutes hunting around), we were on our way. Everything was going smoothly until the DLR service terminated just past Canary Wharf, precipitating a hassled rush towards the nearest tube station. Fortunately the tube staff were very helpful and allowed us to use our DLR tickets and we made it to the airport coach service with less than a minute to spare!

That was then followed by a lot of hanging round at the airport, because we had left a sensibly large safety margin in our plans (just not enough to let us relax until we got to Stanstead) and we were airborne by midday.

On arrival, we were greeted by Felix and Rosiero, relatives of friends from our church, who were to be our hosts for the first couple of days. Many thanks to the whole family for their kindness and generosity to us. Later that afternoon, they took us on a tour of the city – this was a sneak preview of the goal of our pilgrimage. Eventually, we retired to bed having successfully accomplished the first stage of our journey, tired but looking forward to what the next day would bring. It was good to have arrived and also to have found distant contacts becoming friends.

For more photos, mainly of our trip round the city, see our camino gallery.

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