Maree & Jack cycle Portugal and walk Spain travel blog

The medieval church in Melide which came a poor second best to...

Deb and Pablo holding up a wall in Melide.

The memorial to John Paul II on top of Mount Joy.

The main facade of the Cathedral at Santiago.

My first plate of white asparagus - yum!

This arch is all that remains of a wall which used to...

One of the arcades which protected us from some of the rain.

A queue of pilgrims who have completed at least the last 100km...

Inside the Cathedral this door is only used during a Holy Year.

A set of steps in the Cathedral showing centuries of wear.

Our feet on the shell which marks the end of the pilgrimage.

Another rainy morning today as we packed the bus for the last time. My walking shoes have not dried and I choose to wear my runners hoping that the rain will clear before we have to do any walking. There seemed to be hope of this happening as there were some breaks in the clouds. Our first stop was in a market town of Melide which is famous for octopus (fried, sauteed, boiled, grilled or any other way of cooking). There is also a medieval church and a leather goods store. Guess which one got the most interest?? All the while we were in the town there were blue skies above us with occasional clouds and our hopes of a dry walk rose. After a coffee, churros and a toilet stop we re-boarded the bus and continued to Monte de Gozo (Mount Joy) which overlooks Santiago. The closer we got to the mount the more it rained and as we alighted from the bus the rain was steady. We had a group photo at a monument to John Paul II who passed this way during the holy year of 1989.

We then walked the last 6 km into Santiago itself stopping in front of the Cathedral for our final group photograph. All the while it rained and rained and rained. After the photo we moved on to a restaurant where Garry has a special 'in' with the owner and sat at a booked table while others queued outside to get in. The meal was especially good for a lunch and I had asparagus for first and grilled sole for second, Maree had lentil soup and roast chicken. We then walked to our hotel and checked in for the last time with this group. The room is large and comfortable but reception did not realise that Maree and I were the same people who had booked in for an extra night (online) and we would have had to move had I not checked. At 4pm we met Eva, our local guide, who took us for a comprehensive walk through some of the main sections of the old town. It was still raining and it was good when we got to the covered arcades where we could hide from the rain. Eva talked about the architecture and the restrictions on building renovations that exit in the old town. She took us to the Cathedral where we had a chance to view the reliquary containing the bones (so it is said) of St James.

By this time my second pair of shoes were soaked and I had ben walking around with wet feet for hours. So, it was time for our shower and change of clothes before we settled in to our last supper. Lots of laughter, tips handed out, Deb and Garry read out a poem in our honour and some people who are leaving in the morning said their goodbyes.

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