Thursday, May 31, 2012
I find it funny to wake up and find Lisa hidden underneath a mountain of blankets. There have been times I’ve looked really hard as I could not tell if she was in there, or had gotten up early and left. But, as I begin to stir she pokes her head out and I’m assured she is still there. We shower, dress and are on the road along with many other pilgrims. We walk a narrow road that we share with cars carrying folks off to their destinations. Some wave as they pass, others stare straight ahead deep in thoughts of their own. We come upon a campground called Camping San Marcos with a small café. We stop for some coffee along with a tostada watching pilgrims filing by. We use the facilities before heading down the path.
We reach the top of Monte del Gozo which was once just a green hill and chapel. But, because of the Pope’s visit in 1989 the top was leveled and a “Albergue” which can hold 3000 people army barrack like, there is a rather interesting sculpture which seem not to have a name but commemorates the Pope’s visit as well as St. Francis of Assisi’s and World Youth day. From here we look down into Santiago de Compostela and see the spires of the cathedral. I light a candle for us in the chapel before we had down to town. We come to the Albergue Santo Santiago secure our beds then it is off to the Cathedral de Compostela de Santiago. We are disappointed that there is a barrier about the pillar which holds the statue of St. James. There are five deep indentations on the pillar where over the century’s pilgrims hands have touched at the end of their journey.
We go to the pilgrim office to get our certificate of completion. We are hoping that the couple who picked up Lisa’s credential has dropped it off here. Lisa is again disappointed that they have not and she will not get her certificate of completion. I feel guilty that I have mine in hand and quickly put it away so as not to be a reminder. We wander around town running into many of those lives have touched us. Once more we run into Joseph and we are not like old friends joyous to see each other. We have dinner together then again wander the town making plans for tomorrow. We go to the bus station where I purchase a ticket to return to Leon and my bike. Wander around the neighborhood then back to the Albergue.
Down the street on the corner is a café in the Hotel San Lazare where we stop in to have some wine. There are a lot of locals there and the owner knows them all by name. It is fun to watch as she banters with the locals. Soon several of the gents there begin to sing Spanish songs for our entertainment as well as their own. We are having a great time an then realize that we’ll soon be locked out of our Albergue. This will soon be our local watering hole since it is close to the Albergue. The owner is friendly enough but we never learn her name and I wonder if the locals know it? We have purchased tickets to take a bus to Finisterre tomorrow. Lisa tells me she is thinking about staying there and hiking back to Compostela before she heads home. I was hoping we would attend mass together then head out. Seems that’s not to be.