We set off from hotel Rosalie in Padron about 8.30 after a reasonable breakfast, well a croissant of elephantine size, lashings of proper coffee and a ham filled roll for lunch…. i took two imodium hoping to stave off dives into the bushes.
Pleasant walking to start with , oak forests and rural,then some N 505 stuff, not nice, but with David and Aussie Brian, i just followed them closely across the road where required confident they would be hit before me!!!!
Stopped for coffee along with half the people I had walked with off and on since Porto. walked on some more, stopped on a seat in Teo for lunch, the bread roll, more cherries, funny, neither David or Brian are keen on my mouldering cherries…. and some dried apricots, kit kats etc….
Then back to the road, nice enough weather again, wind a bit cool at times, but OK.
we were now seriously watching the way marks, eight ks, then six then suddenly , four. We were also following the yellow arrows plus David had gps…….we seriously wanted to get there…
brian set off on his own,he was faster up hill than me and david is kind to old people and stayed with me….
Up one enormously steep path and we were in Santiago, then a km walk to the cathedral.
as always the anticipation is better than the actual but it was a relief to be there.
I then queued for over an hour to get my “ticket” saying I had done it!!! only one person in the queue that I knew, twice married Marcus from Germany…
duly got my compostela, and certificate stating I had walked 575 ks which disagrees with the guide book which says 646,,,david checked the actual distance by road, about 500 ks…
got to the hotel easily, david is a good navigator along with Mr GPS.
no bath In my room, a serious senior hissy fit and i got a bath but also a busy road. no cotton of course and this is the 130 e a night hotel!!!! back to the nest!!! i wonder if they actually remake the beds that I sleep on top of…
System is, bath towel, on top of bedding, my sheets then usually a blanket from the wardrobe if it looks OK, once bed bug bitten twice shy. if dubious, leave items of clothing on!!!!
We went out for dinner to a local Gallician resturant, Ok but gosh their food is reasonably plain…had my last octopus meal, tender, but I am over it..,david had pork AND dessert (Gill, take note!!!!).
we then went and had two !!!!! mojitos, gosh they were nice, then demolished another half bottle of plonk and told lies until about 12.30.
I then had my bath and think it was around 2 am before i hit bed!!!! Slept till 6 am then slept till 9.30!!!!!
We breakfasted then went to the Cathedral for the pilgrims mass. heaving with people, We stood for over an hour, left just on Communion wafer distribution and of course missed the famous swinging of the huge silver senser. will sneak back tomorrow about ten minutes before the end…
When T and I did the last 100 ks from Sarria however many years ago, only 25000 people a year walked the French camino. Now 250,000 people do it, hence my choice of the Portuguese Camino which has less than 25000 , much less from Lisbon.
Correspondingly the cathedral is packed for the noon so called pilgrims mass. t and i walked in with our packs and sat down. nowadays there are ‘church police’ , no packs, no photos and no room…Need to be there about 11 am to get a seat….
Church is being restored in the front, so covered with scaffolding…
before the mass a man and his wife tried to get in front of me, i was standing in the middle at the back, motioned to him not to push me, got a mouthful of abuse , so christian….
Then two Asian women slithered along in front of me to sit almost on my feet, i thought unchristian thoughts about asians, when I noticed one get out a little bag, veil put on head, rosary out and mass in whatever language laid out on paper in front of her. whoops!!!!
met Aussie brian and two German girls later and we are having dinner with them tonight.
Also met the belgian woman i had last seen in ruias, she also walked from lisbon.
When asked at the certificate office where had i come from, on hearing , lisbon, the woman, said, that is a hard walk to porto, no signs…so it is known….
Tomorrow another day of lounging about, am now in my with bath overlooking the garden,still no cotton!!!!
THEN, off again on tuesday for the steepest part to finistere,some days with two 500 m climbs….too much uppys….