Our final day in Santiago captured everything we have enjoyed about the Camino….primarily food and friends and wandering, but also seeing sights and seeking out some special souvenirs.
The day we arrived in Santiago we had not brought our backpacks as we were returning to the same accommodation that evening, but today we came in to town carrying everything, so we took the required crazy arrival photo:
…..and we had to take a photo of our completed Credencials, that only three weeks ago were empty with promise, and now carry special memories:
Desayanos Spanish-style was on the menu – we found those much-sought-after churros:
There are no pics of our lunch, eaten outside a wee church in a sun-soaked square out of the breeze, but I can make you drool with a description. Ham and cheese empanada, quite different to the other ones we’ve tried – this one was made with flaky pastry and melted in your mouth. Artisan bread hacked up with a pocketknife, carrying slices of that delectable cheese we discovered yesterday – it tastes just like camembert, but is semi-hard and also melts in your mouth. Not having had our fill of cheese, we then entertained the notion of sharing some baked cheesecake too! Delish.
But the day was not entirely centred on food…there were friends too. And that’s where the direct line to Jesus comes in to play. In our email inbox first thing this morning was this message:
Hi New Zealand Family
It’s Jesus, from Madrid. My mother and me send you a very big kiss.
Let me tell you once again that my mother and me are very very happy to meet you yesterday. My mother was thinking about you and told me many times, specially because of the rain and the kids. I’m sorry because of you hadn’t shelter at Santa Irene as I understood….
In case you decide to come to Madrid, please, don’t hesitate to contact me and we can have a walk around the city. You could stay in my own house (on the floor I’m afraid) or divided between the houses of my relatives, my two sisters, my mother and myself.
Once again, a very big kiss from Madrid. It has been a very very big pleasure to meet you.
Don’t forget that all of you have a new friend and a new family in Madrid
We carried these kind thoughts with us as we wandered. We also met other newly-made friends from the albergue, including a couple from Israel, who have walked with their 15 month old daughter (yes, the Mama carried her!) And we met an American family with four children, who have been living here in Spain for five years and hope to open a welcome centre for pilgrims and their own albergue at some stage – they sure gave us a warm welcome even on the side of the street, offering to take us to the airport tomorrow! This is the spirit of the Camino right to the end. They also advised us where to find good cheap food for dinner:
DINNER PIC will be added tomorrow as we have not eaten yet!
The final thought for us to take away from the Camino we found as we set out this morning; a stone wall bearing a message:
GO WITH GOD.
Tags: 2012, postcard: Spain