After some down time yesterday, we wandered back into the old town – Rosie is on a mission to buy ‘Camino tat’ for her friends. My mission is to persuade her that, just because both our packs are about half the Ryanair baggage limit, she doesn’t need to get full value by buying 15 kg of rubbish! One thing we do need is a tube to transport our Compostelas in – Rosie rolled them together for safety then managed to doze off and end up lying on them, so they are already looking rather the worse for wear!
Rosie thinks she has spotted a place that does very cheap, tiny portion of tapas so we head there, thinking to try a wide range for dinner. Fortunately we work out, before ordering an uneatable quantity, that they are actually sandwich fillings – the Spanish equivalent of Subway, I guess! We find another bar that seems to have a good proportion of local customers instead and I enjoy some rather good Rioja with my tortilla. As we wander through town, it’s good to meet up with half a dozen or more people whom we’ve met on the Camino in the last couple of weeks and indulge in some mutual congratulation. People mostly seem to cover the same sort of distance each day, though at very varied speeds. We saw many of the same folk repeatedly, on the road or in Albergues, and a good sense of cameraderie soon developed, despite language barriers.
Today we have the luxury of a leisurely start and no boots and also track down the much-anticipated churros and chocolate for breakfast – what’s not to like :-). We head for the tourist office to check airport bus times for tomorrow and meet more familiar faces when we head for downtown Santiago in search of a new item of clothing or two – those who’ve been walking for five or six weeks are even more sick of the clothes they’ve been carrying than we are!
I go to the pilgrim mass in the cathedral but it’s standing room only and I find it hard to stand for an hour in my flip-flops. No pleasing some folk, I know! Perhaps unfairly I’m also a bit disappointed that, despite the very international congregation, the whole service is in Spanish and I find it very hard to follow. Afterwards Rosie and I amble through the old town again and, after lunch, end up in the lovely Alameda park, where we sit and read in the sun or shade as takes our fancy. We shop for some edible souvenirs on the way back to the hostel – we figure Tarte de Santiago is sure to be a winner.