‘We’re open tomorrow morning at 5am’ shouted a cafe owner for no reason at me in English as I walked around Padron today minding my own business!
To the untrained eye this may have looked like a random event. But no. This man had singled me out from a universe of pilgrims and languages because I had been toying with the idea of missing the pilgrim mass at 12 in Santiago de Compostela tomorrow because a) I’ve seen it before and doubt much has changed and b) Because I didn’t think I could walk the 25km to Santiago unless I set off at some crazy time.
Somehow this cafe owner knew that I was considering missing the mass and felt moved by some power or other to hollar at me in the street so now I have to take it as a sign and am obliged to get up and leave at some crazy hour; like 5am perhaps!? They say god moves in mysterious ways. But mostly he moves in blatant and unmissable ways that you can’t fail to see – even if you really really want too!
Today’s walk was the shortest so far at 20kms which meant I could spend some time in Padron sightseeing. Most of today was spent in the pine forests in the early morning dew of the day which played weird tricks on my eyes. Every time I stopped walking and looked into the far distance it felt like the forests were moving back away from me. I don’t think that was happening so perhaps it was to do with concentrating so closely on the path ahead that my eyes were playing tricks on me. That’s it.
Padron is famous for two things I already knew about. Firstly – the Peppers! Apparently every tenth one is hot but I must have eaten a thousand of those peppers during my time on earth looking for the hot pepper and I’ve never had a hot one. They must do something else with the hot ones. Secondly, it’s famous as the town where St James’ stone boat landed when his remains were brought to Galicia. Tomorrow I’ll follow their path to Santiago. Padron has a church dedicated to St James – St James the Saint, the Pilgrim and the Slayer of the Moors (I originally typed Moors Murderer and thought that sounded catchier and then I got why and changed it).
Tonight I’m staying in the Albergue above in Padron. It’s my favourite Albergue ever. I say that a lot but this time I mean it. It’s on the way. It has curtains you can pull across your bed so you’re in your own plus size cubby hole and best of all, they do your washing and drying for you and fold it up and leave it on your bed. I am considering spending my retirement here. Free tea and coffee too!
So, tomorrow, barring injury or a tantrum, will be my last day walking to Santiago. I believe the scaffolding is finally off the cathedral which will mean it’s the first time I’ve been there and can see it properly. I’ve booked into Roots and Boots again. I want to see if the book I hid there last time is still there. Then, it’s either bum around the coast for four days and sunbathe OR do the Camino Muxia.
Lesson #261 – If you can treat even that with TLC the world is your oyster.