Camino Invierno Days 8-10. Lalin to Santiago

Day 8 Lalin to Silleda 16K
Sunrise on Invierno
The walk out of Lalin in the early morn was pleasant. We are in no rush and decided last night to take it easy and take 3 days to walk the final 57K to the Cathedral. Lalin has a city park that has a walking and bike trail that follows the Camino along the Poñtinas River.
Mika in the park trail coming out of Lalin
After a few K the Camino veered north through fields and forest. At about 6K we arrived in A Laxe and had to pass over the busy highway going north to Santiago. A few minutes later we merged onto the Camino Sanabres coming from Ourense. I was expecting to see more pilgrims from this point but we saw no other pilgrims the remaining 2 1/2 days until we arrived in Santiago. I suppose it is because of the heat we experienced on Camino Levante a few weeks earlier. Most pilgrims on Camino Via de la Plata from Seville merge onto Camino Sanabres north of Zamora. However very few walk in July and August as it just gets too hot.
Walking through a forest we came to a beautiful old walkers bridge, originally Roman. Just before Silleda we stopped at the pleasant Casa de Gerardo to sit in their garden and enjoy their fine house wine served in a white bowl and some Galician Cheese. We walked on to town and got a comfortable room with shared bath at the Albergue Turistico for $25.
Bridge before Silleda
Day 9 Silleda to Ponte Ulla 20K
Pleasant stop at La Casa de Gerardo just before Silleda
Another pleasant walk. We are thoroughly enjoying slowing down. Taking long tea breaks and talking to locals. Stopping at anything of remote interest. We enjoyed a long tea break in Bandeira, and not long afterwards came to Albergue Casa Leiras. I remembered stopping here when walking the Camino Via de la Plata back in 2017. The friendly Cristina and daughter were not around, but we had a nice chat with Andrea. The Italian family are one more couple that experience the Camino and decided they wanted to be a part of The Pilgrimage.
Andrea and Cristina’s daughter in front of the old grape press in their Bar at Albergue Leiras. A wonder stop visiting the friendly Italian family.
We continued on seeing no other pilgrims to the valley floor crossing the Ulla River and found a comfortable albeit small room at Pension O Cruceiro.
In Bandeira taking a break
Day 10 Ponte Ulla to Santiago de Compostela 21.5K
Left at 6 in dark enjoying near full moon and walked the whole 21k to Santiago. There is a powerful stop at bridge over railway.where derailment in 2013 killed 79. Ribbons and flowers don the fenced crossing in honor of the 79 killed in the 2013 train derailment here.
Memorial to the 79 who died in the 2013 train derailment
Then and always an emotional moment is the first view of The Cathedral towers about 3k out.
First view of Cathedral
About 1K away, there is a side street that takes one to the Colegiate of Santa Maria a Real de Sar, one of my favorite and most interesting churches on any Camino. It is Romanesque dating to the early 12th Century. The cloister is attributed to Master Mateo of Portico de Gloria fame. What makes the church so interesting though is that walking inside it appears to be falling down as the columns seem about to topple over. Experts suggest this was planned for some unknown reason. Outside there are flying buttresses which were added after the great earthquake of Lisbon in 1755.
The incredible ‘falling” columns
Master Mateo’s Cloister outside Santa Maria a Real do Sar
Continuing on we passed so had stop at the very pilgrim friendly Bar run by Gonzalo on Rua da Conga just a few meters before the Cathedral.
Arriving at the Cathedral ending my 15th Camino never gets old. Like the other pilgrims we sat down and lingered enjoying the warm energy and atmosphere. Always a beautiful moment.
Buen Camino!
Blessed to be entering through the magnificent Holy Door as it is a Holy Year.

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