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Day 19: Padron to Milladoiro. Final Approach

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

Ernest Hemingway
Riverside walkway in Padron

The excitement on the Camino today was palpable. Almost everyone we met was heading towards the final destination: Santiago de Compostella. We, however, opted for a shorter day and are staying in a town less than a two hour walk from the square in front of the cathedral. This will be our third time walking into Santiago and there is something magical about walking in during the morning hours.

Not to mention that breakfast at the Parador afterwards is sumptous, and a special treat.

Usually on a camino we stay in a mix of dormitory style rooms in Albergues with other pilgrims and private rooms in hotels or other rentals. This particular camino is odd in that tonight, our last night, is the only one where we’ve been in a shared room. Even when we’ve stayed in Albergues on this trip we wound up with a private room. Fortunately Laurie is sleeping in a bottom bunk across from me, so she can throw something at me if I snore.

One interesting thing about small village life in Europe is how much it is about community. One vestige of that is communal wash basins as seen in the photos below. The basins had running water and stone washboards so the local women could do the laundry for their household. I expect it was also quite the social center—the “office water cooler” for the women of the village. Some of these are still clean enough that it looks like they could be used. Others look like large planters. In one village it was fed by a hot spring. That must have been special. Nowadays pilgrims soak their feet in it. Still a communal activity.

The weather today was cool but clear. As I write this I light rain is falling. But this was our first rain gear free day in over a week. And it looks like by the time we hit the trail again it should be back to the normal warm, sunny, and dry weather for this region.

We hope.

Some of the route today was along busy roads but much of it wound through country roads and residential roads where we saw pets ranging from friendly dogs to playful pygmy goats. Note that the roadside vending machine did not dispense wine or beer—unlike some we saw in Germany and France.

2 thoughts on “Day 19: Padron to Milladoiro. Final Approach”

    1. Yes. This has been our wettest overall Camino, although we managed to avoid the heavy downpours we experienced on other journeys. Makes us appreciate the nice weather.

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