Last Days

We are staying in the heart of Madrid. The Palace is a stones throw away and the shopping is all around us. I can’t believe my luck just along from our hotel is this most wonderful shop, it’s a butcher, cheese and wine shop all together in air conditioned comfort. With 39 degrees on the street it’s a haven and to my delight they sold packets of cheese fondue. Well I haven’t seen these for sale for years (that’s how long it’s been out of fashion), so I’m bringing 4 packets home!


‘Tiger’ Swiss brand. Oh! and my new shoes. Photo taken from hotel Petit Palace on our balcony, which is perfect for hanging out the washing. 

Yesterday, we took the double decker red bus tour of Madrid. It’s perfect for seeing all the major sites of the city.

Of course, I had to pat a horse. 

Today we are homeward bound and Colin is unwell. The only thing he ate that I didn’t was a hamburger, which may be the cause. Sleep is the best remedy. Oh well, I guess the best thing I can do is leave him in peace and quiet. Shopping I think is calling me. 😜

Madrid 

Sunday 17 July saw us say farewell to Santiago as we caught the 3:15 train to Madrid,about a 5 hour trip. 


Very nice comfortable seats, speeds up to 240k/h, air conditioning, smooth, quiet and next to the dining car. A great contrast to what we have in Australia.


Jenny won all the car
Arrived about 8:15pm, 15€ taxi ride to the hub of Fiesta Madrid. The city does not sleep with our hotel above a busy plaza we battled to sleep with music, laughter and chatter well after after 2am

Nice dinner with the very best sangria 



Will sleep in, put or feet up and take a tour bus around the city to checkout the sites. 

Rest Day

Today is the first day that we have been able to really relax. Jenny shopped for a change of clothes (something non-Camino). Colin is in a park doing yoga.

 
Yesterday was the start of the festival of St James. There are so many events going on around the place to celebrate. One of the more bizarre things they do is let off sky rockets that make a large explosion, there doesn’t seem to be any set number that they do at one time and the timeing could be anything from dawn to midnight!


Tomorrow we leave for Madrid.

The End of the World

Yesterday Friday 15 July we took  bus tour to Finisterre, named by the Romans who believed this was the end of the earth, and the official end of the Camino in the company of Emily our Sydney teacher, Camino  buddy. 


The Atlantic turned it on for us with sunny 29 degrees, calm and clear. Dolphin could be seen frolicking below. 


Col found a conch shell in the souvenir  shop which he has always wanted for 11€ and Jen found some great gifts. Not all people walk the Camino!

The tour visited Muxia the seaside village where the last scene of the movie, The Way, was filmed. 


Legend has it that if one climbs under the  Rock of Os Cadrís 9 times all rheumatoid problems will be cured


We stopped at Fineste for two hours to have lunch and meeting  up again with Ann-Katrin, our Norwegian buddy. A exquisite meal! Jen and I indulged in a local lobster  and after a long lunch Col got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean.



We stopped for a walk to the falls Cascado de Ézaro where the Xallas River fall into the ocean.


 A hydro power station also is there. A striking view of pink granet mountains showing the scares of past bushfires. 


We stopped at the worlds longest grainery for the last tour stop of the day. 

Mass was packed at 7:30pm and we had the privilege of witnessing the swinging of the Botafumeiro at the  end


We were nabbed by our Geman buddies Erica and Thomas who insisted we have dinner with them at our favourite Italian restaurant. Again falling into bed after midnight. 

We were awoken with loud fireworks this morning which marks the beginning of a two weeks long festival celebrating St James with music in the squares and a party atmosphere. 


On the Road Again

We are 15 km from the end and we are spending an extra night here in Pradada de Francos so we may arrive early in Santiago tomorrow and spend three nights there to finish the Camino. 

We had a very pleasant walk yesterday mainly walking through forested paths, small laneways with lots of shade and mainly a downhill inclination 👍


Yesterday we met up with Sydney girl named Emily Shanahan who is a teacher in Sydney 

Jenny nursing her back znd meeting Emily

Last night we had dinner in the square next to the catherderal with Emily, Ann-Katrin and Gavin from Ireland to say farewell. Lots of good food, laughter, beer and wine and liquors in the spirit of “hooting with the owls” today’s start has been a bit dusty 😩

“Gee I’m crook” – Wish I was soaring with Eagles!

Ann-Katrin and Gavin
A great night was had by all!

Party People

So Beautifil the Rose of my Life

We left at 10 AM and have walked 12km to today’s accommodation very quietly, and arrived about 3pm with lots of time for washing, yoga and recharging.

Lentil soup, grilled prawns, salad,wine and prawns


Onwards and upwards

We arrived in Ponteverda during one of their religious festivals and it was a Sunday. We were going to stay two nights but Monday was a holy day for St Christpher and everything was going to be closed, so we pressed on. The church dedicated to the pilgrims


The old town centre has a number of churches and convent.

We met up with Sara French/Scottish/Morocca and had dinner with her. We watched the World Cup final Portugal vs France, what a game nil all! More time was needed then it happened 1 to Portugal. Wow! what a tight game. We had a table bet Colin and  Sara backed Portugal, my knowledge showed I backed France. Can’t wait for next year.

Then the next day we left early which turned into a long climb and hours before we hit a cafe and hooked into a plate of egg, bacon and cheese. 


We shared a moment with a Belgian family that consisted of the grandmother and her two granddaughters that had walked from Lisbon. We had passed each other and greeted many times. 


Then along came Jane, no no not her name it’s Silke! 

couldn’t keep up Silke but not as in Bantom chook. ( 6ft tall)

could have been my closest companions

Silke a German amazon


Our hotel in Caldas de Reis had a natural mineral hot spa in the foundations 200 years old. We had a spa  in the waters with jet streams for an hour. 

Frankinfurta then contacted us for dinner. Lovely dinner … But when the menu says Black Sea food spaghetti it’s not something similar to  spaghetti  marinara, it’s spaghetti cooked in squid ink.


For the first time I’m in pain, yesterday’s walk trying to keep up with the long legged has impacted on my back.

Today we left later and stayed behind the pack. Mostly a walk through country tracks and back roads in shade.