Photos at Facebook page. Photos from the EnglIsh Camino.
I don't normally suffer from melencholy but I did today. Usually when I reach Santiago I am flying home the following day. This time I would be walking way from it. And it's at this time I start to look forward to the 'Shall we have a cup of tea in the garden, or that spontaneous no reason cuddle, and even, 'could you please put the toilet seat down. ' So, every step away from that seemed somehow not right. Then of course the friend chipped in. 'You're not walking away. You said we were going to Finesterre and that's what we are doing. So in fact every step is taking you closer to home, not further away.' There was a logic to that. I was walking in the wrong direction but getting closer to home.
I called into the cathedral at around 0730. It was empty save for one lady taking photographs. I asked her if she would take one of me leaving some ashes of my friend by the alter. She was from Canada so language wasn't a problem. She duly took the photos and she asked for my story. I told her. Before I could take a breath she had hold of me in a bear hug. She was strong well built lady who could rip out fir trees and milk two cows at a time while standing up. I gasped for breath which she took as emotion and held me tighter. By the time she let go I felt as if I had been in a trouser press.
There were tears running down her face and by now the whole situation was beginning to get to me. I didn't have the heart to tell her that neither my friend or me were particularly religious and that the leaving of the ashes was symbolic of our arrival at a point we had planned to be at together had he lived.
Fearing being nearly crushed to death for a second time I kissed her cheek and beat a hasty retreat for the exit. And as I descended the ramp by the Parador in the main square the sun came out. I pulled back my shoulders, tightened the straps on my rucksack and headed of for the coast.
Further into the county the sun had not yet broken through and I was enveloped in mist. The familiar pattern of eucalyptus forest, farm track and country road was followed with gusto. There was not too much to do so I was entertained myself by annoying the dogs in the numerous houses along the route.
There were a variety of breeds but they all responded to being looked at and spoken to. They would run the length of the garden fence twisting and snarling and all the time I held my hand sufficiently close to keep them interested. Dogs, seemingly miles away would then join in. It was like the howls from hell. I know this was not very pilgrim like but it did pass the time.
As did calling into a small bar for breakfast. Coffee, of course, but I fancied a sandwich. I could see a mountain of them under some cling film but they were all salami or ham. I wanted cheese. The owner dug through the stack to the bottom and produced a cheese sandwich the size of a small submarine. Crunching into it was like shattering glass. Bits went everywhere, including bits of cheese onto the floor. There was no way I was going to waste those so I scraped them up and scooped them into my mouth. Time would tell if I would develope boils. I appologiised to the person next to me, who was munching delicately onto a tortilla, and scrapped all the crunchy crumbs into pile and then into my hand and did anther scoop into my mouth. Mr tortilla looked at me, I smiled at him and told him I was from Germany. He nodded as if saying, 'I thought so.'
Along another isolated lane I came across a woman standing in the road carrying a yellow flag. I waited and within seconds mountain bikes exploded from a forest track. Their riders were short, stocky with hairy black legs, pumping for all they were worth. Their chiselled features were obscured by wrap around sun glasses and they swooped off into another part of the wood
To be honest, I thought it resembled one of those after shave adverts. All youth and testosteron. Ah, those were the days.
By 1330 I had covered the 24kms and had treated myself to an hotel room. Only two more days to go but according to the forcast there are clouds on the horizon. Thunder clouds to be exact.