Friday, October 18, 2013. I am back in Santiago after going to the end of the world (Finisterre and Muxia), and am staying in a beautiful monastery-turned-hotel, which I will write more about later, but I deliberately came back and reserved four nights here because it is the perfect place for me to sequester myself to write the rest of this Camino before I leave for Portugal on Sunday. At least I hope I can get the rest finished before Sunday afternoon.
The walls are stone, perhaps four or five feet thick (seriously, I can lie down on the floor and I’m not sure my toes would hang over the wall corners!), there is a huge room they call the “cafeteria”, though you can only get cafe con leche, tea and the exquisite thing called tarte de Santiago, a very moist, thin almond cake in this room. There are two other dining rooms, one for the sumptuous breakfast that is included in my 23 Euro nightly fee, and the other is for lunch and dinner if you choose to purchase either of those while you are here.
The stone courtyard is reminiscent of the courtyard in the Chiesa de Santa Croce in Florence, and the whole place oozes tranquility.
The last of my traveling friends left this morning, or so I thought, so I was really astounded to see Matthe and Elma from Holland as they came into Santiago today. I had last seen them in Burgos and thought they were way ahead of me, but in fact they really took their time, and we stood in the rain on the stone street, surrounded by stone buildings, and talked like old friends. Finally got their e-mail address as well. But of course forgot to take their picture while I had them together again!
So just wanted to say that I’m a dedicated little typist for this three days and that is why you will be getting a “slew”, as my mother used to say, of posts rapid-fire. I really can’t imagine I will “finish” these before Sunday, but I will surely try. Several are already written in Word docs, but not completed, and the next several dozen photos are being loaded to the website as I write. It feels good to be focused, especially since it’s really gloomy and wet outside and I’ve walked around already this morning, getting my train ticket, more credit on my cell phone, had a tasty buffet lunch, and visited my favorite bakery. No more of that stuff after I leave Santiago. I am coming home much lighter than when I left Fort Collins, and I’d like to keep it that way at least until Neil can see some semblance of my form from long ago!
One of the women who witnessed my crash on the sidewalk in Sahagun is staying here, and she commented this morning, “Well, you certainly are glued to that table and chair!”
I told her I am determined to capture most of the rest of the day-by-day details of my walk before they leak out of my pea brain. At least several more segments. You can dump them or save them for later. I still have to go back through everything and put tags and categories on them, but that will wait until a snowy day in Colorado, though I hear there are already some of those there.
But for now, here I sit . . . perhaps it’s time for another cafe con leche and my first piece of tarte de Santiago in at least two days!