Saturday June 9th, 2018
Well, the rainy camino has ended an yet it still rains. I wasn’t expecting great weather for my walk into Santiago and I wasn’t disappointed. I left the albergue at 6:30 am, hoping to find a coffee somewhere in the next 10 km, but I hadn’t anticipated the walk over the little mountain near Pico Sacro and the continued off road walking most of the way into Santiago. Aside from the light rain that started about an hour into the walk, it was very pleasant, there was no road walking the whole distance (excluding the little village roads which have no traffic). I was 4 km away from my destination when I finally got close enough to a main road that there was a cafe 20 m off the trail and a sign directing me to my beloved coffee.
It is often anticlimactic when you arrive in Santiago – the walk is over and friends are departing, but not so for this camino, as I have mentioned previously. I am glad to be done and keen to make my way to Madrid on Monday with hopes of at least warmer weather, even if still rain. The high today was 14 C and while there was only a drizzle this morning for the walk and my arrival in Santiago, once I got to my Albergue, heavy and steady rain started and it hasn’t let up all day. I stayed at the Albergue and tried to stay warm by napping in my sleeping bag with a heavy blanket on top (as expected the heat is not on). I have all day tomorrow to walk around town and with better weather forecast for tomorrow (sun and clouds and T-Storms, but still cool), I will do my touristy thing tomorrow. I have been in Santiago enough times that I don’t feel a big need to go see stuff. I was able to get to the Pilgrim’s Office today and get my Compostela and have a nice meal at Bar Barbantes near the Cathedral, and there is a store/cafe here at the Albergue, so no need to go anywhere in the pouring rain.
The early morning mist in the valley was quite spectacular!
Morning skies were not promising. This view was to the south – not the direction I was heading. I was going the other direction – toward the rain.
Lots of vineyards and farm gardens. By about 10 o’clock, I was mostly walking rural roads such as these. The route was still in the foothills of the mountains and so it was also up and down a lot of the way.
Wild raspberries are ripe! Very tiny, but quite tasty. There was also wild peaches growing at the side of the road, not quite ripe.
Approaching Santiago, about 7 km away. Still quite rural. It had been raining for a while at this point.
The bread delivery guy left a loaf of bread at the door of this house.
4 km from Santiago and still walking rural roads.When I compare the Sanabres route into Santiago to the Frances route into the city, it is quite different – much more rural (but no coffee!)
The structures you see up on the hill is the City of Culture of Galicia. I might go there tomorrow.
I could see the spires of the Cathedral in the distance. One more hill to climb.
The Cathedral of Santiago has been undergoing a face lift for years. It is almost done. This is the first time I have seen the front facade. Previously it was covered and being sand blasted.
A well deserved proper lunch!
I am staying at Albergue Seminario Menor in a single room, with shared bath at only 17 eu a night (18 if you book via Booking.com). It is perfect. The store sells food which you can cook yourself in the kitchen plus beer and wine. If you need them, there are facilities for hand washing clothes – with an indoor clothes line or washer and dryer are available as well.
I won’t blog tomorrow, but will post on Monday. I am taking the train to Madrid and can do the blog enroute. It is a 5 hour journey back through some of the way I have walked, so I am looking forward to seeing the way in reverse and using the time to wind down. I can’t believe how cheap the fares are – I paid 40 eu for a first class ticket with my “tarjeta dorada” (golden age card), which provides a 40% discount on weekdays and 25% on weekends. If I did not go first class the fare would be 16 eu!