Monday, February 03, 2014

Camino 2013 - Day 39: O Pedrouzo To Santiago De Compostela

I woke up to the sound of pouring rain.  I heard other pilgrims saying they were going back to bed to wait it out.  I did the same, staying in bed in hope that the rain would go away.  I would not be so lucky.

We eventually got up and packed our bags.  I walked out to the albergue's lobby and looked at the rain out the window.  It was coming down pretty hard.  I hadn't seen it rain this hard since the second day on the Aragones.  I grabbed my pack and we headed to the bar across the way to get some breakfast and to give the weather another chance to clear up.  We talked with some other pilgrims and ate our croissants.  It didn't let up much at all.

We finally resigned ourselves to the fact that it wasn't going to slow down and we headed out.  The walk was a a wet one.  We stopped in a bar for something to drink and just to dry off a bit.  We saw Mk, the 91 year old hiker, come in.  We saw a lot of people trying to get out of the rain.

Iconic marker just outside Santiago de Compostela.
There was one more hill before we reached Santiago de Compostela.  I remembered that hill to be hard but as we approached Monte de Gozo we realized we never saw the hill.  The Camino had been rerouted away from the dirt road it once followed to a paved road with a more gentle slope.  A good improvement.

We stopped in another restaurant/bar at Monte de Gozo.  I tried my best to dry off as we had something to drink and ate a small snack.  I went through quite a few napkins trying to dry off my hands and arms.  I finally gave up.  I would just have to stay wet.

The last of a new set of numbered markers we saw along the Camino.
Number 1 was at Col de Somport on the Aragones.
The stretch from Monte de Gozo to Santiago de Compostela is all downhill and went quickly.  I wanted to go straight to the room but Gv wanted to go to the cathedral first.  Since we had reservations at Seminario Mayor, located right next to the cathedral, I gave in and went with her.  We took pictures in the rain in front of the cathedral.  (My Facebook friends may have seen some of the pictures of me in front of the cathedral in the rain.)  We ran into Lh who we hadn't seen since shortly after Tosantos, I think, back on day 17 or 18.  We congratulated each other and shared stories.

My foot on the marker near the cathedral In Santiago de Compostela.
We went back to Seminario Mayor and checked into our rooms.  I volunteered to find some newspaper to dry our shoes with.  I went down to the lobby and asked the guy at reception.  The placed didn't have any but suggested a direction to go in.  I went that way looking for anyplace that would sell newspapers.  I stopped in a souvenir shop and was told to go farther up the street.  After walking several blocks and finding nothing I stepped into a bar and was told to go back the way I came.  By this time I was feeling tired and a bit frustrated.  I headed back the other way, running into other pilgrims, hugging them, and congratulating them as I ran around looking for an F-ing newspaper.  I stopped at the tourism office and asked them and they pointed me, finally, in the right direction.  I found a newsstand, bought a newspaper, and headed back to Seminario Mayor.

By the time I got back I was tired and worn out from the frustration I felt.  I gave half of the newspaper to Gv and I took the rest and stuffed it in my shoes and crashed the rest of the afternoon.  I had everything hanging around trying to dry but the damp rainy weather prevented a lot of clothes from drying.  I felt damp.

We finally decided we needed to get out and so we went to the pilgrim's office.  We ran into a lot of pilgrim's we'd met on and off the past 39 days including the Korean couple.  We were hoping to wait to get our Compostela certificates until we returned from Fisterra.  One reason we wanted to delay getting the Compostela is that they announce who arrived (only their nationality and starting point) before each pilgrim's mass in the cathedral.  Since we were the only ones we knew who started in Oloron - Ste Marie it would be like being called out personally.  We were told that we could only delay getting them if we walked from Fisterra to Santiago de Compostela.  Since we were planning to take a bus back that would not work so we picked up our Compostelas.  Unfortunately we were leaving for Fisterra the next day and we would miss hearing our shout out.

I don't remember much about where we ate the rest of the day.  It was a bit of a rainy, drippy blur.  We did stop in one place where they serve the best ice cream and desserts.  I had a burger I think and some awesome dulce de leche and chocolate ice cream.  I don't remember the evening meal at all so it must have been good ... I would have remembered if it were bad.

Most of the people we'd met were stopping in Santiago de Compostela, their Caminos finished.  We ran into Vn.  He was continuing on and we said that we would look out for him on the way to Fisterra.

I don't remember sleeping very well that night.  It had rained all day and it was still raining as a laid in bed.  My mood had been really down the last time I had been walking in the rain on the meseta.  My mood now, after a long rainy day, was not that bad.  I felt pretty good once I got over the hassle of finding a newspaper.  I didn't know if my good mood would last though if the weather continued to be so wet.  It was still raining as I finally drifted off to sleep.

I didn't take very many pictures this day.  I've posted some pictures of me in front of the Cathedral on Facebook.  The rest can be found in my 2013 Camino de Santiago Google Photos album.

Total Distance on Day 39: 20 km ( 12.46 Miles)
Total Distance Walked: 901 km (559.86 Miles)

Approximate Track of the day's hike*.
[Click on map for a larger version]
*Note: The camera GPS did not work very well this day either, probably because of the rain. A large section at the beginning did not track properly.

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