Monday, April 22, 2013

Camino Finisterre: Day 32: Santiago de Compostela - Negreira (22.4 kms)

We had a nice buffet breakfast at our albergue in Santiago.  There were a lot of nuns and priests at the dining hall.  It turns out that there was a congress going on.  Leonie, a Dutch girl, told us that the idea of the conference was to find a way to make a Christian welcome for peregrinos on the Camino-- to make the experience a more spiritual one, which was how it was, originally -- a pilgrimage.  We told her about our experience in Tosantos, how we sang hymns and prayed together in the chapel.  She noted, however, that our experience was with a small group of 8 people, whereas some albergues are huge, with 10 times as many people-- how to make it work for this situation was one of the things they would take up in the conference.

My sister, Sonya, leaves today for her flight back home, while I continue on to Finisterre.  She walks a little way with me and the Dutch couple, John and Ingrid, that we met at the hostel and who are also walking to Finisterre.  When I saw the couple I immediately knew they were runners.  I find out later that Ingrid has a personal best of 3:18 for the marathon, while John has run it at 2:58. Wow.

Sonya and I say our goodbyes at the edge of the city.  It was great walking the Camino with my sister.  We had some trying times but we both weathered them and I think we now share a greater bond for having gone through this experience together.  I miss her already as I continue on along this way.

I walk along with John and Ingrid, leaving Santiago behind, following still the conch shell markers and yellow arrows leading to Negreira.  The way goes uphill through a forest path then downhill through some towns. We stop at around 12:30 for a coffee and a light lunch of bocadillo at a cafe in Trasmonte.  From there, it is only about 5 kms or a little more than an hour to Negreira.  We check in at about 2 pm at the Albergue San Jose (12 euros).  It is nice and looks quite new. We get a towel, bedsheets and a blanket too so I don't need to bring out my sleeping bag.  I share a 4-bed dorm with two nice women from South Africa, Carol and Jeffy, who arrive a little later.  Carol has done the Camino Frances alone before and has now brought along her friend to do the Finisterre part.

We have a menu del dia at 5 pm at the Restaurant Imperial close by -- good food. Another 34 km day tomorrow, need to sleep early.




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