33 A Short Day

My destination today is to a small village called Villamajor. This is where Susan, Bene and I stayed setting up our entrance to Santiago. Santiago is 8 km away and if I leave at 8am tomorrow I can be in Santiago at 10 (ish) The problem is this is a Friday, and everything seems to be booked. Louise and Lila have been briefing me. I may have a bit of trouble finding a place to stay.

The good news is the wait for a compostela appears to be about 20 minutes….much better than the 2 hours my cousin Doug mentioned. I am inclined to wait for 20 minutes….but I confess, I would never wait for 2 hours. Just won’t happen. Call it a character flaw…….

I started the day before daybreak once again. I have about 12 km to cover before I get to the place I have reserved. I decide I will be the slowest Pilgrim on the Way. As hard as I try I can’t walk as slow as the rest….what has happened to me? Am I a speed-walker or what. Then it dawns on me. Many of these people on the trail are “newbies”. They have started in Sarria, and when they hit an incline, they slow to a crawl. I’m not even breathing hard, barely breaking a sweat. They, on the other hand are puffing like “Thomas the Train”. I am suddenly impressed with what 5 weeks has done to me. These are small, even tiny hills…..and they are bringing these new arrivals to their knees.

Ha ha!

So how did we get here……the day has started out overcast, and the temperature is 12c. It’s not a cold day, but I get my 3 layers on to protect me against the humid cold…..ever present in Galicia.

The path we follow is largely though eucalyptus trees and mud paths. Easy walking for the most part. There are some hills and valleys to cross. Just at one edge of the Santiago airport we come to a sort of “Pilgrim rest station”. Conveniently located, many pilgrims stop here for a break…..coffee and a bathroom.

Then out again, straight uphill out of a small valley…..a bit challenging even for me….you know…..Super Pilgrim and all. (Just kidding)

After walking around the airport the path into Santiago is pretty much straight forward.

Pilgrim leave a number of totems in their wake. I thought this one was interesting…..

Leaving at 8 am in the dark will have my arrival at 10am in time to try and find a room and head to the Pilgrim Mass. yeah, I know….the place will be struck by lightning. Apparently the Butafumeiro is swinging tomorrow….But I do not know when. There are two masses…..one at Noon and another at 7:30pm. Either way…I am there in time. I have to be honest….If I don’t see this swing…I really don’t care. But I will make the minimum effort.
The hostel I am staying in is nice enough….I have yet to run out of hot water….I think I will try again.

My plan tomorrow is to arrive in Santiago at 10, try and find a room, attend the Pilgrim mass, and then go to the main square in front of the Cathedral at 1pm. (7am Toronto time) you will be able to recognize me….I will be lying down in the square….spread eagle.

Just in case you get up early…….