Camino Day 26: Money for Cheese
Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela: By bus: O km.
May 30, 2016
Private room equals long, hot bath and a late start to the day. Forgetful of siesta time and how that may affect travel, we had a long wait at the station for the next bus to Santiago.
At breakfast we had decided to get to Santiago by day’s end and on the subsequent day commence the 90 km Finisterre Way to the said destination. This coastal town known locally as Fisterra was literally once thought to be the “End of the World”. Kashi was short on time, and Fisterra was also on my to-do list. The time to move was now.
I never quite mind getting “stuck” at a train or bus station. The people watching is always interesting and it’s just good old-fashioned down time. One can’t really go anywhere so best make the most of chillin’. I dug out my journal and started plugging away while sipping a coffee at the bus station cafe.
A woman approached and asked for money. We dug in our pockets and gave some small change. Some time passed and she reappeared showing that she had bought cheese with the money. I was humbled by the action. How many times have I pondered in similar situations whether the money might be spent on something less useful?
Kashi made a super mercado run for our lunch while I watched the packs. Traveling with someone can make life more effortless at times. The day was sunny and we picnicked outside the station. Another one of the many lovely al fresco lunches taken on the Camino.
People started gathering around the numbered door for departure to Santiago. I noted other Peregrinos taking the bus. I had a fleeting moment of guilt when I stepped up, but pushed it back out.
Sitting high up on a bus one could appreciate the rolling, hilly terrain of this more remote countryside. We had crossed the line to the Galicia region of Spain. It was this rough terrain that isolated Galicia from the rest of Spain and helped maintain the 600 BC Celtic culture that settled here. The Galicians have their own language Gallego and were granted regional autonomy by Spain. There are 17 autonomous regions in Spain which are given a varying degree of local control.
We arrived in Santiago as it was getting dark. We checked out a few hostels on arrival only to find them full. We rested with our packs at a cafe to figure out where to lay our heads while some Pilgrims still passed with their clicking sticks. I pondered if the sticks were really necessary in towns on paved roads as the constant reverberation was honestly, quite tortuous at times. There was a hotel not far away that we found online and decided to book as we were beginning to feel the days travel on us and the sun had already set. Dinner was late as is in Spain. We were in Santiago.