on Thursday October 25 we took an 8 hour bus ride to Fatima. This always was on our minds as a stop but made more compelling after encountering all the pilgrims walking south as we walked north toward Santiago. The 8 hour bus ride did not seem so long when you consider that it had taken us weeks on foot to cover the same Territory. We arrived to a very nice hotel with very nice off season prices and terrace views of the basilica cross lit up in the night sky.
today Friday October 26 (happy birthday Jody ❤️) we visited the basilica esplanade, which now includes not only the old church but a new church authorized by John Paul II and chapel of apparition. Pilgrims kneeling across the esplanade in penance. Masses, rosaries and confessions throughout the day. Very spiritual on the esplanade but garish souvenir sales right outside. In the afternoon we tried to follow the Camino into the city but it was on a trafficked road. Instead the tourist office directed us to a walk to the nearby village where there are the homes of the shepherd children who saw the apparitions. Stations of the cross along the way. So glad we chose this stop. Tomorrow back to Lisbon ❤️