We shared our room at Casa Riamonte with a friendly, young Spanish family – mom, dad and two young sons, about 6 and 4. They were a fun change of pace from our usual albergue mates. No snoring, except for the fake, funny snore the older boy made in jest. We got up early and were out the door quickly. We had only 12 km to get into the center of Santiago, but the hotel we were lucky enough to book on this holiday wanted us to check in prior to noon.
We mosied along, rather disappointed to find that the two bars along the way were both closed. However, we did finally manage to spot Simon’s family house, just about 50 m from the bar where we ate on the way out – it was on the Santiago side rather than afterwards, as we had thought. But still no one home. Alas, we came across the enterprising gentleman we stopped at in the woods on our way out. Were we happy to see him! He said he passed us in Ventosa so he knew he’d have customers. As we had nothing to eat up to that point, we happily had a Camino breakfast of champions – café con leche, peanuts and bananas. It put some pep in our steps.
The rest of the way into the city was uneventful except for us passing by two large groups of Spanish teenagers out hiking en masse. One was 77 students strong, but they were just as self-absorbed as teenagers anywhere. They didn’t greet us or respond to the usual Camino greetings, didn’t even stop talking to each other, didn’t even want to budge out of their groups to make way for anyone else. We were happy they were going opposite to us.
We reentered the city to the sound of the cathedral bells ringing and then were passed by a marching military group and band. We found our hotel relatively easily and were in our room by 10:30. Wonderful. There was a small market across the street where we were able to stock up on traveling snacks for the train and plane ride home.
Then off we went in search of the few souvenirs we wanted before things got too hectic with the patron saint fiesta. We whipped through the shopping finding everything we had in mind, I got another scoop of that delicious coffee gelato, then settled in for a late afternoon light snack and drinks. A bit of a siesta and some bag repacking and we were ready to head to the garden bar to meet Sarah. Yay! Camino family again! She decided to head back from Muxía to meet us here.
We went over to the garden bar once we met up with Sarah, then after a bit an American she had met, Kevin, joined us. Eventually we walked over to a restaurant where she knew they served vegan food, and were joined by an Australian couple, John and Jennie. After a typically late Spanish dinner we went to the square in front of the cathedral for the light show celebration that was projected onto the building across from the church. It was pretty amazing to watch and the crowd wasn’t bad. Then we went over to the area where they had a band playing playing. Not my cup of tea so I was pleased not to stay long.