Saturday 28 September 2019

Last day hiking in to Santiago!

We were up early for breakfast at 7:45. Juice, cereal, coffee, croissants, toast, melon, cheese and ham.
Our suitcases are to be in the foyer of the hotel by 8:30 for pick up. We were on the trail by 8:45. It was only 17 degrees and not yet fully light with a lot of mist in the air.  The only solution was to start moving.  We didn’t have too many kms to go (14) but knew there would be hills involved. We only have this day in Santiago as we fly to Amsterdam early tomorrow morning, so we wanted to get in as early as possible.  There were a lot of pilgrims en route. We made a stop for coffee at a place on the road and were off again. It is fun seeing the numbers on the Camino markers go down.  Everybody looks happy today, still chatting to each other and telling a little about themselves and their travels. We met a guy on his own who was from upstate New York, he had done a number of hikes, including Hadrians Wall and another in Wales. Three young girls from Germany had done 100 kms  in 6 days as they had to fly home for work. They were basically walking into the cathedral and getting a bus out of town this evening.
As we came into the city Center the yellow Camino arrows were harder to find and at times we consulted our instructions (we were entering the city from a different direction this time) or else we followed pilgrims in front who looked like they knew the way.
We arrived at the cathedral and it looked glorious, much nicer than our previous visit as now the scaffolding was removed and the building pristine clean. The inside is now undergoing renovations and cleaning so mass is not held. One can still go inside and line up to “hug” the statue of St James in the Center of the church and go underground and see the silver chest which hold his remains.
We had done all these rituals last visits as well.
Next we had a wander around the old city, had an ice cream and Jan and I purchased little silver shells for our bracelets. We found a nice Italian restaurant, shared some pastas, salads and wine, finishing with our first piece of Santiago cake.
Back at the hotel we were happy our luggage had arrived so having decided an early night was in order....joanie and sandy went out to our favourite garden bar while jan and I had showers .
Our flight is at 6:40 tomorrow and we will hit the ground running in Amsterdam


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