June 4, 2007

6/4/07 Santiago de Compostela

It was sort of possible to sleep late, late being 7:30 since I wasn't going anywhere today. But with all the others packing, it wouldn't have been possible to sleep with all the noise, especially when someone turned on the lights.

Had breakfast with Vanessa, Tom (Poland), and two girls from Tokyo, . They were surprised that I knew more than them about the Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan.

Spent the rest of the day wandering around the city. There are so many more shops open and it even seems like more people out and about too. Bought some music CDs and another guidebook on the Camino.

Even sat outside a cafe with Henriette. She's one of those pilgrims that the Camino changed a lot. She has so much confidence in herself now. She's even flying home tomorrow even though she's never flown because of a fear of flying. A wonderful woman.

And I was surprised to see Elke. She had just returned from Finesterre. It was good to see her and to have a chance to say goodbye.

I met Henriette in front of the cathedral at 7PM. There is a web cam in the square and she had arranged for her brother to be watching on the internet. So, for several minutes, we stood and waved. Several people came up to us to ask what we were doing. I even thought the police might think we were suspicious. [smile] We said another sad goodbye. I think that's the hardest part of the Camino, the goodbyes.

loading picture from webcam
Webcam of the cathedral square

For dinner I was invited by Syd and Jill to join them with a few other friends at the Parador, one of the most expensive hotels in Santiago. It was a very elegant restaurant with very fancy food, at least by a pilgrims standards. But it was wonderful conversation and everyone was so warm and friendly, I felt very comfortable. Unfortunately, we ate very late and I had to leave the dinner early to make it back to the albergue before the doors were locked at midnight.

With my friends at the Parador

A very fancy dessert