Hugs, sweets and ABBA – Day 11 – Padron to Santiago

Remember the idea of getting up at 5am? Shortly after the blog post I began to feel a bit sick and then very sick and then I was sick, in that nice Albergue too. That’ll learn me for taking the menu del dia at 4pm, my Food had clearly been sat out for quite some time! So, after the vomiting, I thought it better to just let myself sleep until I awoke naturally and that was 7am – so no hope of getting to Santiago for mass.


Turns out, that didn’t matter, things have changed in Santiago since I last officially collected my Compostela. There’s now a 7.30pm service too. The pilgrim office has also moved. I walked in and out of there in 5 minutes after expecting super long queues as warned on the forums.


More good news, so what happened with the cafe owner who called out to me in the street yesterday? I did go for breakfast there. He cheers on all the pilgrims and before I left (this time I paid) after my cafe con leche and tostada he gave me a hug and kissed my forehead and wished me good luck! I was taken aback but very moved by this sweet old guy.


Later that day an old woman stopped me in the street to give me some sweets. What a great day this was turning out to be! All the Spanish strangers were being super kind – I don’t know how they’re not sick of pilgrims. Because I am!


I arrived at Roots and Boots, walked into my shared room and it looked like a bomb had gone off with boots and wet towels and shorts everywhere, including on my bed. I’d never seen such a disorganised room on pilgrimage. I forgot about it and went about my routine of cleaning clothes, self etc. Later that day, after the 7.30pm mass I got to see who I was sharing my room with.


Some very drunk, very young English girls were my bunk mates and they decided they would hold a full on Mamma Mia rehearsal in the room, I assume for my benefit. There was so much that I wanted to do, when I dreamt I was alone with them but it wasn’t magic – it was murder. So I left the Albergue and booked last minute into the San Lorenzo hotel around the corner which is as quiet as the grave! Just how I like it!


Frida and Agnetha have gone out into the night of Santiago and I did not want to be there when they got back for I fear ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme (a man after midnight)’ may come to life in surround sound on the bunk above. The last time I booked Roots and Boots I got disturbed by revellers – why do I keep going there?

The walk today was another hilly affair with a lot of motorway and roundabout walking with some scenic smatterings – especially the villages which are particularly cute and each one seems to be home to a litter of week old kittens. I bumped into some pilgrims I’d met on day 1 which is always a nice symmetry and seems to happen on each Camino.


Tomorrow I need to decide if I’m going to Muxia or knocking it on the head. If my old roomies are going that’ll make the decision easy, rain is forecast too. If it’s raining I’ll also sack it off.

So what have I learnt this camino? Well, the three points of shut yap, be grateful and do the right thing. Also, that I’m an old misery guts who values sleep and food over much else. I’ve learnt not to put on plasters pre-emptively, that one caused me a lot of needless pain. Let’s add – don’t be judgey. I’ve made a few quick decisions and wrong judgements this camino that later turned out to be wrong. Not with the ABBA girls though. They were terrible, Muriel.


Oh yes – scaffolding is off. And I got to hug St James and see his box of bones (above). I’m sure there is a word for it rather than ‘box of bones’. Anyone?

One thought on “Hugs, sweets and ABBA – Day 11 – Padron to Santiago

  1. what a lovely man at the cafe, and the old lady with the sweets. Restores your faith in human nature. Until the drunken brits, what a lovely advert for our country these people are. Why are they on the Camino? Still, just another bit of life’s rich tapestry.
    .Maybe it’s St James Sarcophagus, but I’m not sure. Enjoy the rest of your trip. xxxx


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