A final morning amble around Santiago, stocking up on local delicacies in the central market before catching the bus to the airport and back to England, our journey over.
Matt: Yawn…woke up, still raining…turned over, went back to sleep – no need to get up and walk anymore! It hasn’t stopped raining since we arrived here, luckily for us, but not so lucky for the daily influx of pilgrims into Santiago under their not-so-rainproof ponchos, bent double against the driving wind, their feet soaking wet [note: according to a pilgrim we met yesterday, the authorities closed off the route into Muxia yesterday on account of gale-force winds – lucky escape there eh?!]. Hats off to them for having suffered more than we ever had to, but anyway enough about those poor souls…back to my morning coffee at the delightful Casa Barbantes, just off the Plaza Fonseca overlooking the southern aspect of the cathedral…hmm, they do look very wet indeed!
STOP PRESS – IT’S STOPPED RAINING!
Well, how’s about that then for the restorative effects of a good morning’s café con leche: caffeine + final day = sunshine!
Jackie: Bit sad to be leaving today and know that in a very short time it will be back to the fast pace of normal life. I do hope I will be able to take this sense of peace back with me on the plane! Anyway better enjoy the last few hours of our trip. I almost miss my early morning 5km before breakfast already!
Matt: So, we wandered about, taking in Santiago in the sunshine, had a nose around the very posh hotel in the main square called Hostal Reyes Catolicos [note – there are 4 squares surrounding the Cathedral, but Praza do Obradorio is known as the ‘golden’ square; i.e. the front one!] where we made ourselves very much at home, mingling with the more well-to-do pellegrinos, and even helping one of them how to use the computer (something I’m accustomed to with Jackie; i.e. providing 24/7 IT support!)
Jackie: I certainly haven’t missed the dealings with the dreaded technology at all over the last 2.5 weeks. I feel really good having not been sat at my PC dealing with emails or other technically related activities or trying to juggle so many things to do! I don’t want reminding for the next few hours anyway.
It is amazing what just being outside all day walking can do for mind, body and spirit! I don’t have any aches and pains at all – it is all gone! And I feel calm and happy! Better bottle that feeling!
Matt: We bought some queso con membrillos (cheese with quince) from the local market, and a couple of boccadillos (sandwiches), and by the time we’d repacked, it was time to head back off to the bus station (in a much calmer fashion than we’d entered it a few days ago) and hence to the airport…and back to Blighty.
Regrets? Nope, none at all…apart from the fact we didn’t get to have our last ‘chocolate con churros’ before we left (both the bus station and airport being devoid of such delicacies), and before we’d even touched down in the UK, we were already formulating the plan for our next adventure, o Caminho Português de Santiago, a mere snip at just under 600km – watch this space!
Jackie: I feel so grateful for being able to do this trip and to share it with Matt. It has been a fantastic 500 mile (780km) journey together and one that will remain close to our hearts. Our Camino’s will continue…
If you got to the end of this blog thanks so much for your interest in our journey and we hope that you have been inspired or at least had a good laugh