'It is not that the Camino is difficult but that difficulty is the Camino.'
A really cold and strong Galician wind pushed us out and onto the way this early early morning; fleece weather for sure. Dayton and I walked together through the still dark and sleeping town until we reached the bus stop where I was to wait for the bus to Santiago and Dayton continued on his way and The Way.
Even Santiago, a very vibrantly alive and busy city, was still quiet when I arrived at 7:40am. I even had to wait for the cafe shops to open before I could defrost with a warming cup of tea and churros. It wasn't long before the pilgrims were streaming in, enthusiastically greeting one another and joyfully sharing the joy and congratulations of having completed their Camino. Most then adjourned to the line up at the Pilgrim's Office to show their credenciales and receive their Compostelas.
Not surprisingly, Dayton had made record time and had even stood in line for an hour to get his Compostella before I saw him shortly after noon hour. The two Maltese contingents were about to walk in having coordinated their arrival, one from the Camino Portuguese route, the other from the Camino France's route, with much fanfare; flags waving, cheering and exuberance . They all had on matching t-shirts and they posed for a great picture with signs indicating how much money they had collectively raised for their cancer charity. What a great thing to do; walk for yourself as you raise money for others and have great fun with friends while you do it.
And then it began...the wine and tapas tour. Every bar has a counter of a myriad of tapas laid out, two of which are vegetarian - the fried Brie and the potatoes bravas, everything else has ham or anchovies or squid or tuna or egg or something equally carnivorous on it. Going to be tough and fattening for the next few days.
Our Hotel Barbantes is right near the Catedral at the centre of everything including all the nightlife and passerbys and the inherent noise that goes with it. I still can't figure out if it is a youth thing or a cultural thing that the partyers stay out all night yelling and chanting and making noise for the sake of making noise. Our suburban neighbourhoods are a lot more sedate or maybe we just have better window insulation.
Maltese Portuguese contingent approaching cathedral.
Acknowledging the purpose for their Camino €50,000.00 in fundraising for cancer.
The wine and tapas diet continues....