Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Santiago de Compostela


The walk today was an easy walk.  Before today almost all of the people I passed made eye contact and said, “Buen Camino.”  The people in Santiago were busily trying to get to work or wherever they had to go.  There was one young man who stopped to talk with me and told me about the volunteer pilgrim office in town where he volunteered.

Actually walking into the old area of Santiago was amazing.   I felt so overwhelmed. I made it.

After checking into Albergue Azabache, I went to the church for the Mass. David Moran told me to get there early and also told me where to sit.  I met up with Catherine (from California)  we sat together for almost 2 hours waiting for the Mass to start. It was fun watching all of the people enter the church.

They did the Botafumeiro during the Mass so it was a lucky day to be there.

Botafumeiro 1

The Botafumeiro is one of the most famous and popular symbols of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is a large thurible that hangs by means of a system of pulleys from the main dome of the Cathedral and swings toward the side naves. It takes eight men to move it, who are known as “tiraboleiros”. It weighs 53 kg and measures 1.50 metres; it hangs from a height of 20 metres and can pick up great speed.

The Botafumeiro is used for liturgical reasons, in the same way as a priest would use a censer (the vessel in which incense was presented on “the golden altar” before the Lord in the temple) at the altar. It operates during the Cathedral’s main solemnities during the entrance procession or at the end of the Eucharist. The purpose of this great censer is to symbolise the true attitude of the believer. In the same way that the smoke from the incense rises to the top of the temple’s naves, so must the prayers of the pilgrims rise to reach the heart of God. And in the same manner that the aroma of the incense perfumes the entire basilica, so must Christians, with their virtues and the testimony of their lives, impregnate with the good scent of Christ, the society that they live in.

Botafumeiro at Mass in Santiago de Compostela.

It was amazing to see how high it swung (practically going right over our heads) and then back the other way.


The Mass included beautiful singing.  The church was totally packed with people.

After the Mass I went to wait in the line for my Credential. It took more than 2 hours in line. I saw several people in line including Loretta. I filled out the paperwork and showed them my 2 full books of stamps and the 3rd one with a few stamps.

Getting my Credential

It is official. I have walked the Camino Frances.

Nancy got her credential.
I wandered around town for the rest of the day; saw Ellen (dressed in white); and had a fantastic dinner with Camino Ellie, Marnie, Jan, Rose, Kate and some new friends at Malak.  It is a vegetarian restaurant that was recommended to Ellie.  What a marvelous meal.

We are eating dinner at Malak


I loved eating at Malak in Santiago de Compostela
Later tonight when I was sitting in the living room of my Albergue, Bärbel came into the room.Version 2

We had a wonderful conversation about our Camino. I have loved the experience yet don’t really know what the effect, if any, it will have on my life.   For Bärbel it was absolutely life changing.

Tomorrow I will stay in Santiago wandering around and watching pilgrims enter the Square. Then on Sunday I plan to begin my walk to Finisterre (88.7 km) and then to Muxia (28.5 km.) –  probably in the rain.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

14 thoughts on “Santiago de Compostela

  1. Bravo Nancy! You are who you were when you were 10 years old – now you are who you are when you walked the Camino….you are a wonderful human worthy of great accomplishment, admiration, respect and love. See you in July at Eliot – looking forward to hearing more stories and seeing more pictures and eating chocolate.


  2. Inquiring minds need to know why you are walking farther? Got more juice in those young legs?


  3. Congratulations, Nancy! Thank you for sharing this fabulous journey with us. Saludos! Christine


  4. Wow. Just wow. Congratulations. You did good. Can you even believe it!!!????



  5. Congratulations, Nancy!


  6. Congratulations you did it!!


  7. Way to go, kiddo! But now … MORE walking?! You are a trooper, you are!


  8. Way to go, kiddo! But now … MORE walking?! You’re a trooper!


  9. Thank you for your wonderful blog! Your observations & photos in Barcelona and Madrid brought back memories. For those of us who have never had this experience, you captured the sense of fellowship along the path. Your sense of joy and adventure is awe-inspiring. I hope you can share these photos and memories with those who warned you that you should not do this trip!


  10. Congratulations, Nancy! The swinging incense burner gave a fitting blessing for your successful journey. And, while you head to the Altantic, John and I will think of you as we enjoy a week-end on the Pacific. XO


  11. What sweet memories I have of Santiago de Compostela! The photo of the Botafumero reminded me of the Mass I attended in the cathedral – quite a touching experience!

    PS Do you know Katherine and Richard who live in Camas (a Bergie – can’t remember his last name)? He always wanted to do “the w
    alk”. I wish he could have read your posts and seen your photos.


  12. Congratulations, Nancy!! Wow, I am really impressed, what an accomplishment. Was interesting to follow your blog.


  13. Congratulations Nancy. You are a trooper! All that preparation of hikes in the northwest paid off! Are your feet bigger now! Thank you for the blog. What a wonderful way of documenting your journey. How are you going to spend your “indulgence” that you so earned? That is one sin per indulgence.


  14. Congratulations, Nancy! We are so impressed with your determination and stamina! You should feel so proud! When you mentioned that you were planning this feat, I was so awed that you would even attempt it and you have done so with gusto! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and photos. It has been very special.
    Our very best to you! I thought you were finished. Where exactly are you going next? I guess your boots were made for walking!
    Linda and Jim Hoff


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