Late Night Calls, Last Supper, Friends Depart For Finisterre , Botafumeiro, The Big Picture

Spain's flag
Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela
October 24th 2018
Published: October 24th 2018
Edit Blog Post

I’m suffering sleep deprivation.

The night before last, I received a message from booking .com, informing me that my credit card details were invalid, and they may cancel my booking. After informing them I had paid cash for my booking and was currently in bed at that booking, and after the property acknowledged the payment, they cancelled the booking at no cost to me. This all occurred at about 3.15am.

Last night in Santiago de Compostela, I received an aborted phone call, that rang just long enough to startle me into lurching back and hitting my head on a stone wall, because I keep my phone under the pillow, at 1.18am. It was like waking up and knocking myself out again, all at once. Number ended in 2089. Please check the time difference before calling again.

I think there’s a conspiracy going on, designed to prevent me sleeping through the night.

Last night the five of us went out for dinner at an Italian Restaurant, knowing that tomorrow we’d be down to two. It was fun, topped off with an ice cream from, you guessed it, the ice cream shop. It was an early night because David,
Darcy, and Janet had to be up early for the road to Finisterre.

I woke early, had breakfast with them , met up with a Canadian couple I first met in Mansilla, and swapped tables again to talk with Lisa, and Violet from NZ. The poor man keeping tabs on who was eating breakfast must have thought I was quadruplets. You wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Violet had to pick up some clothes and gear she posted from Pamplona ,( all the stuff she never missed for 5 weeks), a move taken by many pilgrims who suddenly realise they are carrying too much weight in their pack. She had no idea where to go. I offered to show her where the post office was, and give her a little tour of the town.

She now has her important stuff like nicer shoes and cosmetics, knows how to get to the airport, has a feel for how to move around without becoming lost, and did a lap of the park to see a different aspect of Santiago.

I left her back at San Martin Pinario and made some calls to Australia before it was too late.
Dave, Darcy, and JanetDave, Darcy, and JanetDave, Darcy, and Janet

Take the first of many steps to Finisterre and Muxia

Mass was on again at midday and I wanted a convenient seat in a good position to see the Botafumeiro fly once more. It is an incense dispenser, similar to the small ones used by priests in mass, but this is so large it would kill anyone in it’s path.

In Australia, Worksafe would shut this down quicker than a dodgy carnival ride. Six men have complete control of it by holding ropes, knotted to provide grip, and launching it into an erratic swinging arch that crosses the Cathedral, coming within metres of the ceiling. It was about 20 metres above me, and if the rope had failed, the travel insurance is with the RACV, Sue. They could put me in my backpack and ship me home. There’s a few pictures to support my case.

Potentially dangerous it may be, but it is the most desired spectacle in Santiago. While it is now symbolic, and often flies compliments of tourist ‘donations ‘, it originally fumigated the church of pilgrim smells and was an attempt to kill any bugs that may be travelling free and undetected. The soft aromatic scent fills the Cathedral.

After mass I spoke with
Botafumeiro Control CentreBotafumeiro Control CentreBotafumeiro Control Centre

The 6 men on the right have your life in their hands, literally.
Lisa, who was drifting around aimlessly, taking in the Santiago vibe, and then l wandered off to organise a laundry run. The laundry from 2 years ago has closed, and the directions to another one, from the girl at the ice cream shop that used to wash clothes, had no basis in reality. Yes, the ice cream shop did the laundry. That took a while to find 2 years ago.

Back to my room to hand wash.

I’m going for an early dinner tonight. There’s another attempt at the Pilgrim Group Photo 7pm and I’d like it as a reminder of this group that criss crossed my path over 5 weeks.

Today has been a bit of a blur. The routine is broken and I wandered around without any real objective or plan.

I met up with a large group today for a final Santiago photo, and a chat and drinks afterwards. A nice end to a grand adventure.

Tomorrow I will check out Roots and Boots, the albergue I booked for us on Friday night. It looks really nice and is located at the edge of the main park. I just want to be sure it’s not a park bench.

Bye to all for now, and 2089, I’ll have the phone on Airplane mode tonight.

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


The Botafumeiro The Botafumeiro
The Botafumeiro

A rare experience, and part of the story of Santiago
Stable and Safe Again.Stable and Safe Again.
Stable and Safe Again.

We lived to tell the tale.

My Pilgrim RoomMy Pilgrim Room
My Pilgrim Room

Shirt drying on the shelf, socks outside on the roof. I hope the wind doesn’t pick up.
The Camino Group ShotThe Camino Group Shot
The Camino Group Shot

Just some of the special people I walked to Santiago with. Had a drink and some goodbyes; it’s over for some, and the caravan rolls on for others.

24th October 2018

Well done Steve. Don't know how you did it. I walked 6 kms around Lake Wendouree yesterday and that was far enough! Rest day today!
25th October 2018

I’ve worn a hole in the heel of a thick merino sock and I think the others are only good for the next 5 days walking. It’s tough but the country and people seem to carry the load.

Tot: 0.065s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 13; qc: 23; dbt: 0.031s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb