Friday, June 30, 2017

Day 41: To Santiago... and beyond!

Oct 27: I woke up and hit the trail at 9:00. Happily, the hostel did not kick me out before sunrise, but I was among one of the last pilgrims to leave.

The sky was clear and blue—a beautiful day to walk into Santiago! Today would be my third time visiting Santiago, but the first time to see it in good weather. I was surprised how much the nice weather surprised me. Galicia gets a lot of rain and has somewhat of a reputation of being like Seattle—dreary, wet and overcast. You look through images that pilgrims took of Santiago and they invariably wind up being dreary, wet and overcast. I had spent, before today, eight days in Santiago—and every one of them were overcast or raining. Warm, sunny weather? What is that great ball of burning hydrogen in the sky?! The sun, you say?! You lie! It doesn’t exist in this timeline!

The route between Padron and Santiago mostly overlapped the same route I had done a couple of weeks earlier with Amanda, but near the end I took the alternate “old” route rather than the “short” route to shake things up and see something different. The “old” route seemed longer, but probably not more than a kilometer or so longer. I enjoyed it much more, though, since although it followed roads, the roads generally had much less traffic and noise.

Upon arriving in Santiago, I headed to the pilgrim office where I picked up a new compostela—my second one on this trip and my third one overall. There was absolutely nobody in line at the pilgrim office when I arrived. Maybe the flood of pilgrims really was started to decrease this late in the hiking season. I’d never seen the pilgrim office without a line before.

From there I headed to the hostel where I checked in and made myself comfortable. I headed out for dinner and to hit up the Galicia visitor center to pick up information about the route to Finisterre and Muxia because I wasn’t done walking yet.

Santiago was my primary goal, but the weather was beautiful, the forecast was favorable, and I wanted to keep going. During my first Camino walk, I walked to Muxia then Finisterre, so I planned to change things up this time around by hitting Finisterre first then to Muxia.

The hole in my shoe had grown in size and the bottom of my foot where the hole was located was particularly sensitive, but much to my surprise, the shoe insert was remarkably resilient and hadn’t worn through. Not yet, at least. But my new trick at the hostel was to take out the shoe insert then poke a finger through the bottom of the shoe. “This is what I have to walk in!” I’d say in mock anger to the other pilgrims. They’re eyes would bulge out, stunned that the hole actually went all the way through the shoe.

But I still had my crocs and figured I could use those if my shoe had a catastrophic blowout before the end. Or at least use them long enough to get me to a bus stop that would whisk me away. I didn’t have to reach Finisterre or Muxia. Walking 4 Fun could live without those sections. I had the trail completed to Santiago and that’s what mattered. Everything else was merely a nice bonus.

But tomorrow…. I’d begin the walk to the end of the world!

Now that's a lot of corn!

I missed this little guy! =)

I took the "short" route last time. This time... I'll take the "old" route! =)
This route into Santiago is a bit more quiet and nicer and than the "short" route was.

More evidence of Halloween just around the corner! =)
Look at that! The cathedral is under a blue sky! This is the first time I've ever seen the cathedral under a blue sky! =)

There was absolutely NO line to get my compostela today! =)


Anonymous said...

When we were in Santiago a year ago in May, we noticed how crowded the squares around the cathedral were leading up to the noon pilgrim mass. After mass, the crowds departed, making it easier to take photos around the pilgrimage marker in the center of the square in front of the scaffolded church front. Did you ever take pictures of that marker showing the end of the pilgrimage?

-di and her guy

Ryan said...

I don't even know what marker you're talking about! =)

-- Ryan