Saturday, November 14 – Santiago
The good news is the bed is fabulous! Not the best ever, but in the top 3. I’m glad I have two more nights in this bed.
I slept in as much as I could, then went to breakfast at about 9. It was a simple buffet.
I went to go to the cathedral to hear Laudes at 9:40. I was a little late, but I got to hear most of it. I didn’t stay for that mass, though, because I was planning on coming back for the pilgrim mass at noon.
I went by the post office and bought a box to store some stuff in while I go to the coast. I’m coming back to the same hotel after I’m done, so they will hold it for me. I have only done window shopping so far, but there are tons of cute little souveniers. I can’t go too crazy, because I still have to fit it in my pack for the flight home.
I went back to the hotel for a bit of a rest before pilgrim mass.
This hotel has a policy that when you leave the hotel you have to leave your key at the desk. When I had gotten to my room last night, I noticed there was no “do not disturb” tag to put on my door. Then I realized that with this policy, they know when you’re not in your room. Sure enough, even though I’d only been gone a little under an hour, my room had been made up.
That’s when I first heard about the attacks than happened in Paris. I had a message from someone on Facebook about being careful, and I had no idea what they were talking about, until I started to see posts about Paris. I’m not traveling through Paris, but you never know what could happen. I will be on a train.
I headed back to the Cathedral for mass at noon, and right outside I ran into Aldo and Aiya and Monique and Len. They had all arrived this morning. The seating was full again, so I got a similar seat to the night before. Once again, I got to see the botifumerio in action! It was really cool this time, with the sunlight streaming in the windows, playing with the incense smoke. I’ve been to two pilgrim masses and have seen the botifumerio twice. That’s pretty awesome.
After mass I went to lunch with Aldo and friends. I got a combo plate of hamburger, bacon, and fries.
After that I got some frozen yogurt. I kind of accidentally got the mango flavor, so then I had to choose fruit toppings to go with it. I had asked if it was mango flavor, not that I actually wanted it. But it was still good. It’s probably better that I didn’t get chocolate, because I have plenty of chocolate cookies.
I headed back to the Cathedral to do the tourist thing and see the crypt and embrace the apostle. It’s quite an elaborate tomb. I don’t know the terms for everything, but the big fancy gold thing is built right over the tomb. You can go underneath to see the tomb, and then you can walk up some stairs to behind the statue of St. James which is over the tomb, and give him a hug from behind. It’s called “embracing the apostle.” It was actually a pretty cool experience.
After this, I was pretty tired, and it was 3 pm, so I decided to head back to my hotel to rest. I am supposed to be resting, after all.
I stopped at the Galicia tourism office to get some info on Muxia and Finisterre. Right outside the office was the Frenchman from the day before who thought my name was Denise. I still haven’t corrected him.
He said he told his friend he’d met an American named Denise, and she said, “oh, I don’t believe it!” And then he asked how I ended up with a French name, and I said that people in America just name their kids whatever.
He had originally been planning on stopping his camino here and going home, but after the attacks in Paris he feels like he can’t go home yet. He needs to walk more and process what has happened. So I might run into him again. I have a feeling this whole Denise thing could end badly. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone with it lol.
I need to remember to drop that shell off after I get back from the coast.
I also can’t wait to do some shopping, which I should maybe do tonight. Or maybe I’ll just stay in. I can do whatever I want!
I decided to go out and do a bit of shopping. There are tons of cute little things, but I discovered it was pretty hard to find something I actually wanted. I did find a few things. I will also have some time to do some shopping when I get back from Finisterre.
I headed up to the Cathedral to catch the end of Pilgrim Mass to see if I saw anyone I recognized, but I didn’t. I wasn’t particularly hungry, because of the big lunch and subsequent cookies. I had passed an Italian restaurant earlier that sold pizza by the slice, so I stopped in and got two little slices of pizza, then bought an apple from a little grocery on the way back to my hotel. I really didn’t need to eat a menu after not walking.
At this point, I’m not excited about the idea of continuing to walk on Monday for another 120k. Especially if it rains. Really not excited at all. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.
The botifumeiro is beautiful, and I love the pillar of light coming through the window! It must have been amazing to see in person.
I think the Denise Situation is pretty funny and hope it doesn’t actually end badly. 🙂
Betsy I have thoroughly enjoyed your camino and your pictures are terrific.Thank you for your blog. See you soon, have a safe trip home.