The last day into Santiago is eucalyptus, tarmac, suburbs, airport, surprisingly green and pretty considering how close you are to a big city, and long.
There were few others about, and again the walk was easy, familiar. The last-day-gloom crept up on us somewhere just before the camping bar, so we decided to sit down and have a glass of their rather nice albarinho. I love the camping bar – it is on the corner after a long tarmac slog, looks like a static caravan at the front and has a holiday resort with camping at the back. The people who run it are great with pilgrims, they serve food to get you through the last few kms and keep the bottle of albarinho with the icecream.
As we sat down a song came on the radio – I forget which – and more people arrived. Suddenly it felt like a party, a celebration of the last day rather than a sad farewell. We treated ourselves to peanut and chocolate cake, had a little dance, toasted perfect strangers we would probably never see again, and the sun came out. I have few memories of the two grey days before it, but I will remember that moment.
And then, later, we arrived in the Obradoiro square in the sunshine. Perfect.
We had only the one evening in Santiago together as B had to leave early the next morning, but since this was our third arrival and last night in town, we knew what to do. We went to the Café Casino – naturally! – where we bumped into the same German gentlemen I met on the evening before I left for O Cebreiro, a fitting bookend to my trip.
There were tapas, there was albarinho, there was an unexpected bar in a narrow street on the way back to Anosa Casa, where they served more albarinho until surprisingly late … and not surprisingly we talked more about where we would go on our next adventure than the one we had just had. That is the camino way – onwards and upwards! The only cure for the Post-Camino Blues is to plan your next one, preferably before you get on the flight home. So we did.