When I woke up, it was just me and another girl left in the room. Karen and all the others had snuck out very quietly to get an early start. Too early for me as I refuse to walk in the dark, but I couldn’t blame them for wanting to beat the heat. I could pack up at my own pace again, and set off just after dawn.
One of the cafés just up the road had the metal shutter half way up, and when the ladies inside saw my hopeful and coffee deprived little face they opened it up and let me in. I even got a free little cake with it. Good start to the day! The trail quickly turns into the woods again for a fresh and lovely morning walk. I think I managed to get in the middle of the bright and early and party pilgrims, because I didn’t see many others and didn’t have to walk in a queue, which is always good.
Not all the shoes and boots made it … Again – leave only footprints!
I am always impressed at how nice the trail is even so close to the airport and the city. This is Lavacolla, about 10 km from Santiago.
Then after the massive albergue at Monte Gozo there is no doubt you have arrived in a modern big city. Just keep following the arrows.
I messaged David of ClearskiesCamino blog, who was coming into town with his brother from the Inglés on the same day, and as it turned out they had arrived only a short while before me, so for once I was greeted by someone I knew when I walked into the Obradoiro square! We took some photos, took in the view of the cathedral, and then went to the square behind it to have a well deserved and refreshing clara. I don’t think I have ever arrived so early before, about noon, but was already very hot.
I stayed at the same place I stayed before I went to Rabanal, and was glad to have my own door to lock again. After a quick shower and change I went back out to meet up with David and his brother, and Karen, who had arrived before me, and Faith from Pilgrim House, who joined us for a chat and a pre-dinner drink at the Café Casino. I even bumped into Piia again, as you do in Santiago! We both had dinner plans so decided to meet up later in the evening. For dinner we were of course off to the Cardeal tapas bar for some treats and a bottle of albariño. We finished off by watching the Tuna de Derecho band in their splendid costumes playing to the pilgrim and tourist crowd under the arches opposite the cathedral, making everyone sing and dance along. Then it was time to meet Piia and have a night cap or two and reminisce about our camino and the fun times before she left in the morning.
A wonderful return to a magnificent city, though sadly also the end of another adventure. Oh well, the only cure for the Post Camino Blues is to start planning the next one …