The journey home and epilogue

In Finisterre we had the time of the bus wrong, during all this time we keep forgetting what day it is. The bus on saturday is either 8:45 or 13:55.So we had missed the early one, and we were far too early for the later one, still, it gave us some time to just mooch around.
We bumped into the nice Canadian girl who was always ahead of her group. She must have carried on from Santiago without stopping, because she had been here six days. Each to their own, I suppose, but I enjoyed the places we stopped at much more, and would have felt it a waste to stay here that long.. After all that walking I think six days in one spot would bore me. It was really nice to see a familiar face though.
I managed to get a camino tile for our house, and then we convinced the girl in the shop that she had the wrong ear rings on one card. So she sorted them before Viv bought a pair.
We arrived for the bus early, I just did not trust the Spanish timetables. Daft really, as when we had used the AVE years ago, that was bang on time, as was our bus now.
We shared the bus with one other girl and she got off at Cee. Leaving Cee we saw Tammy for the first time in weeks. She saw us on the bus and we both waved frantically as we sped past. She will. most probably, be the last fellow pilgrim we will see.
Later the bus did fill, but it never reached capacity.
In A Coruna there was a really helpful guy who got us on a bus that night. The problem was, we had to wait 3 hours and we did not arrive in Santander until 3:30 in the morning.
They closed the bus station as we arrived so we had hours wandering Santander in the dark. In the end though, getting home was not too difficult.
We could not get to Poole and had to arrive in Portsmouth, but again helpful staff in the station there helped us on our way.
I have nothing good to say about British hotels though. Two tired pilgrims, we felt as if we had been taken advantage of as the first hotel that was not fully booked charged us an exorbitant rate for one night. Then there was a charge for the internet (so we did not use it) likewise a charge for the TV. We were stuck, what else could we do? After a walk back into town for an indian we walked down to the beach to find a Premier Inn not 200 yards away.

So what advice would I pass on?
Know your capabilities, we saw so many who injured themselves, thinking that they could do more than they were capable of.
In the same vein, do not over plan. Rest when you need it and if you cannot make a destination stop earlier.
Factor in rest days, not only a chance to recover but also allows you to see some more of the place. We chose ours to match the big cities, but you can choose to rest wherever it suits you best.
Take a lot less with you than you think you need. We saw people carrying bed rolls as well as sleeping bags. If we were to ever do this again I would only take our silk liners. I know we stayed mainly in Hostels, but those albergues we stayed in all had matresses, pillows and blankets.
Carpe dieum, Seize the day. Remember you will not pass this way again, if there is something you want to see, see it. If you see something you need, then buy it. Most importantly, never pass up a rest break. This may be the last bench or coffee shop for 10 kilometres.

Finally, be honest, I never saw anyone put down because they had to take a taxi. If you do it and tell everyone you walked, then probably you will be ostracised. Everyone
does their own camino and everyone understands that we all have different needs.

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2 Comments

Filed under Camino de Santiago

2 responses to “The journey home and epilogue

  1. Irene

    Hi Viv and Rob,
    So lovely to hear that you are safely back after your remarkable adventure. Once again, Many Congratulations – what an achievement. I really can’t wait to see all your photos, no matter how many. : )
    Look forward to getting together after you have settled back home.
    With love to you both.
    Irene
    X

  2. Lyn

    Thank you so much Bob for the effort you’ve taken to share the triumphs and occasional struggles of the truly memorable adventure you and Viv have had. I’ve loved reading the fascinating blogs and although I’m sorry that they’ve had to come to an end, I’m glad you and Viv are home safe and sound. Hope the practicas pick back up nicely – and say hello to Mary from us both! Lyn xx

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