Pedrouzo to Santiago 19.5 kilometers

Up early again and no breakfast today so we just had to carry on until we found a bar. From the hostal we were soon into woodland again more pine now, but the eucalyptus is invasive and seems to be taking over everywhere. The first bar was at Preguntono and we are again amazed at the madness of pilgrims. Just as last time we passed through the tunnel under the road, but watch as others dodge traffic in order to follow the arrows.

Behind the bar was a narrow cutting where Viv had stopped for photos last time. We were soon passing the airport and the signs of pollution that go with it. We continued downhill where we came again to San Paulo. This time less well stocked, we stopped for more coffee and then a stamp at the church of Santa Lucia. (Still gets me singing every time).

I took my picture in Lavacola and asked on Facebook if anyone still washed their scrotums here. We though could not find the washing place. We were getting ready for another break  but I remembered the bar at San Marcos, so we ignored the campsite and other places crammed with pilgrims.

I don’t know why everyone passes this place, but it suits us as apart from smelly drunks (See last camino) it is relatively quiet. We again sat out the back in the cool shade, total peace only yards from the mayhem. Perhaps the owner should put a rucksack by the door to attract custom, or maybe she just wants to maintain a peace.

At Monte de Gozo we did not stop, we have seen the monument and the crowds of tourists, many having come in their cars, were just at odds with why we are here. Down the steep hill and again we cross the rickety bridge, it now has signs telling people to take care because there are missing and broken planks. Once across we see all the signs that we have arrived but we still have 3k to go.

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On the grass I find a staff, it looks good quality, so I decide to carry it into town in the vain hope it can be re-united with its owner. It gets a bit confusing again in the town and we are accosted by a woman telling us where she has “The best lodgings” first though we want the pilgrim office. It has moved since last we were here and now we have to pass the cathedral and out to the back. On the street where the office is we are again accosted “lodging hostal, very good very cheap” well with this position you would think that they need no advertising, but as we are so close we go in. Meson O Patron it seems was not quite ready to take us in but as the guy had dragged us in off the street we were taken up to a room. It was a bit small, but clean and only for one night, it would do fine.

We unloaded and then went back to the pilgrim office. The two men who dealt with us got very confused “Where did you start” “Bayonne” we said. That is 300kilometers he said filling in our compostella. “Seven hundred more like” I said “oh, thought you said Leon” I think he ripped up three certificates before we got out. It was only later that we realized he had put Camino Frances on them, he still had Leon in his head. We never went back to have them corrected.

Santiago is just a big tourist trap now you can get any pilgrim tat you want here from a resin pilgrim to a yellow arrow, from a pilgrim cape to a staff. Our recovered staff was now hanging in the square or more likely for sale again in one of the shops.

We found a special place for our meal tonight; we sat outside on The Rua de Franco with a huge salad and omelet and, of course beer.

After this we found ourselves in another square listening to a free concert. We met up with the Australian again and he had his son with him this time, but he was off somewhere. He said he would be back  but we were travelling on in the morning and could not wait too long.

I seem to get new readers every day, so for those who are just joining me you can go back to the start of my journey here https://tangogales.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/the-journey-down-2/

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