THE DAY SPENT IN SANTIAGO – JULY 4TH

What a wonderful day.

We slept in until nearly 9:00, took our time getting ready. No need to pack up our packs and load them onto our backs. No need for wool socks or boots. I had a new, clean shirt to wear that I had bought yesterday and so did Mom and Karis. We smelled good and looked a little better.

Mom’s toe is pretty sore still. She kept it bandaged well all day. We stopped in at a Farmacia and she purchased some more gauze. She has the bandaging off for the night, and will wrap it again in the morning.

We spent some time people watching today. Sat at a couple of outdoor cafés and watched pilgrims arriving. Some with a bounce in their step, and others limping badly. The line at the pilgrims office to receive compestellas was much longer today, weaving a bit down the street.

We shopped for some souvenirs. So many shops. Most selling the same thing, for slightly different prices. We happened upon a large farmers market and bought bread, tomatoes, cucumbers and nectarines. We then brought them back to the room to rest for a bit.

Mom had caused some chaos throughout the previous night. About a week ago, our duel cell phone charger/European adapter had an aggressive power surge attack and by the time I ripped it from the wall, it was dead. We are now down to a single charger. Last night, mom either dreamt she heard it surging/sparking again… Or maybe really did… And thought with the way the light had hit the first aid kit, it had started a fire. She woke me and we scrambled around trying to figure things out… No fire. Cell phone charger is good. Then laughed. And laughed. And are still laughing.

So, when we came back to the room to rest after our distributive night, I went down the hall to the washroom. Karis and Mom thought they’d play a joke on me. They went into our room and locked the door on me. The joke was on them. The key then wouldn’t work. No matter how much they tried. They tried to pass me the key under the door. It wouldn’t fit. They tried pushing the door differently. That didn’t work. Karis tried slamming her shoulder into if. No luck. Karis yelled to me through the door, “do you give me permission to use my escape plan??” Her escape plan she had mapped out with a video earlier that day. It consisted of jumping out of the 3rd story window, sliding down a pole, shimmying along a pipe and then jumping off the roof of a restaurant. “NO!” I yelled back through the door.

In the hall of the pension there was a sign detailing where to find Maria and Ramon (the owners). They live at #80 down the street. I ran down the street to their house. They happen to also own a vegetable store on their main floor and their son was working there. Thankfully he spoke perfect English. I told him what had happened. That my Mom and daughter were locked in one of the rooms. Right away he knew which room. Obviously has happened before :/ He said that he would try to phone his father and if there was no answer, he would leave me in charge of the vegetable store and go himself. Thankfully his father answered and said he would be right there. I thanked the son and ran back to the pension. By the time I got there, Ramon had freed Mom and Karis from the outside. Karis was huddled on the other side of the room waiting for Ramon to leave. She is sure he is a zombie. He makes weird grunting noises constantly.

After that fiasco, we napped before church. We wanted to take in mass at the Cathedral at least once. We had heard that if we are lucky, the Friday night 7:30 service is the most likely option to see the Botafumeiro in action. This is a giant, swinging, incense burner that is swung by 8 men using ropes and pulleys. It sores throughout the cathedral, above all if the worshipers. Our luck paid off! After a beautiful service (that we didn’t understand a word of – although we did pick out that the priests talked of perigrinos A LOT) they brought out the burning incense and loaded it into the Botafumeiro. I was able to video most of this. It was beautiful. That was the perfect way to finish off our pilgrimage. So thankful for that!

Tomorrow afternoon we will fly to Barcelona, then to Paris for the night. The next day, we will have 8 hours in a London before flying home to Vancouver. Looking forward to some sights in London – and to trying their fish and chips!

Thank you to all who followed this blog! Each and every one of you! And thank you to those who supported us through the replies on here, email, text and Facebook!! I’m amazed that so many people were truly interested in our experience on the Camino De Santiago. I’m excited to spend some time reflecting back upon this last month. For those of you who had told me before we came, that you too wanted to do the camino… and to those of you who have messaged/facebooked me within the last few weeks saying you now want to do it – DO IT! Why not? There will always be a few reasons that you can’t, but many reasons that you should. :)

BUEN CAMINO!!

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