And so another trip to Spain ends and I need to re-adjust into life in Australia again. I’m so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends again, but it feels weird. This HAS become my second home.
My walk up the Portuguese coast is now a distant memory as this trip has been so action packed with something wonderful happening each day. I have been in Santiago for a month, yet every day I have been meeting people I know as they arrive after walking a camino. There has never been a shortage of people to have a meal with or just meet for a coffee or a drink. I’ve met many new people as well and made some really good friends. This last week has been such fun with Patti – an unexpected friendship of such depth and laughter.
Yesterday started with a mass held for Dorothy, one of my group of walkers who passed away suddenly last week. Sitting in a pew at the front, supported by Pattie, I looked around and felt so blessed. My friend Johnnie was playing the organ, Stephen was singing and translating, and then the gorgeous Gonzalo, who almost never goes to church, slipped into the pew beside me as well. Surrounded by such wonderful people, I had chills, I got all teary and bathed in the love around me. Again…I am SO lucky.
Usually when I am in Spain I dream about what food I will eat when I get home. I crave familiarity and comfort food like vegemite toast, roast dinner and most of all….poached eggs with avocado, spinach and mushrooms.
This time, I remembered to bring the vegemite, Spain now has sliced bread (in some places) and I have managed to get eggs occasionally but they are never poached but usually scrambled or served as tortilla. However, I need to come home to STOP eating! I have been dining on delicacies such as 24 hour slow cooked pork shanks floating on clouds of creamy sweet potato mash, steak, seafood, creme brûlée and ice cream. No boring meals for this little black duck, and well, yesterday….oh my! Yesterday was the icing on the cake!
I found myself invited to a small lunch party with Johnniewalker (needs no introduction) Pattiepie (another new American bestie) Stephen (the tenor in the church), Billie (a Dutch camino guide) Jim (not sure what he does, but he was fun because he is Irish) and of course, the ever humble Gonzalo.
Lunch went for about 5 hours. We sat in the private room out the back of the restaurant, told stories and sang (even sang ‘Somewhere Along the Way’ and sent the drunken recording to Dan Mullins himself). Mostly we laughed…a lot! I sat there several times just looking around at all these fabulous individuals, people that have become so dear to me, and I pinched myself to stop and appreciate the moment. How did I get so lucky?!
Eventually we all parted ways and Gonzalo walked Patti and I back to her place and left us there. She has recovered from her dramatic nose ring disaster a few days ago, and had a tattoo appointment at 8pm so we sobered up in her room and then wandered out into the rain to deal with the tattoo next. Mission accomplished, our day came to a close. We were exhausted.
So today I woke to pouring rain and 3 degrees, but our clocks turned back so it was daylight at 8am. It is my last day in Santiago and it hangs heavily upon me. I need to make it count.
Feeling a tad dehydrated after yesterday, I guzzled a bottle of water and went downstairs to breakfast. I met with Patti again and as it was impossible to get anywhere because of the huge marathon today, we stood by the barriers and watched the runners, some staggering and some seriously fit looking.
One girl floated past in her skimpy little athletic midriff bearing outfit. She had my old body….the one I had when I was 20. She needs to give it back to me!
Eventually we made it across the road and made our way to the park. Patti hadn’t seen the 2 Maria’s, so we walked over to meet them. After we’d had our way with them, we found the famous ice cream shop. Where was everyone? Usually there is a huge queue. What’s wrong with everyone? It’s our last day…. we want to celebrate, so we embraced our piggery and scoffed a couple of scoops each, even though we were shivering and couldn’t feel our hands. OMG it was GOOD!
The rest of the day was pretty much spent eating and we finished by watching our favourite musicians playing in the portal….didgeridoo, sitar and hang drum – such an awesome sound.
So goodbye Santiago and hello Barcelona tomorrow. Gonzalo will be by early to pick us up and take us to the airport. More crazy adventures together before we both go to our homes on the opposite sides of the world 😂😭