The evening before in Castro Dozon the dark clouds and wind has started to build, the forecast was not good, and we expected storms over night with heavy rain and strong winds forecast.
The final day started with our usual early wake up, we awoke to pitch black darkness and rain. We decided to sleep another 30mins and check if there was any improvement. We woke again at 7:30am and it was still pitch black but the rain had eased a little.
We had to be in Santiago as we already had a hotel booked and paid for, along with a connecting train the following day. Our new Spanish friends were a little more flexible but we decided we should all travel together in the bad weather.
Slowly getting ready, it passed 8am and it was still pitch black. Usually by now the sun was really heating up, but today it couldn't even break through the heavy clouds.
Everyone put on all their clothing to keep warm and dry, we laughed at Luis and Augusto who had packed their work all weather gear, along with some plastic bags for booties.
|Louis & Augusto in their all weather kit|
As we rolled out, the rain eased a little further and some light finally broke through the clouds.
With the weather so bad, we decided that we should stick together, at least until it improved. But we would take the last 20k as a minimum on the proper trails.
Just as it started to clear a little more
|Driving the train in the rain|
Rishi and I decided that we would take the offroad trails at the next junction, with 20k remaining to Santiago. But we would all regroup at a small town 10k from Santiago.
|Back on the trail, no traffic!|
The region is a typically wet place, and the rain had not slowed the trails at all. So we rolled through in the quiet forest, passing through the occasional small village with the motorway in the distance.
Meeting up with our freinds back on the motorway intersection, they had only beat us by 2mins! With the camino route being more direct but through the rolling hills rather than the flatter motorway.
We set off together back on the Camino, which was now approaching the outskirts of Santiago.
|Santiago in the distance|
|Arriving to the cathedral with the hoardes|
|First glimpse of the cathedral|
|The final group|
For us though this was not a religious journey, rather an experience. Which is true for many today.
After 3 nights of Albergues, we leave behind the journey and checkin to a hotel, a hot shower and same relaxing.
We reunite with our new freinds later and receive our Compestelas, a certificate of our completion of the camino.
Celebrations follow, with the plan to indulge in Santiagos speciality, "pulpo ala galega" octopus with pimento on, olive oil & rock salt.
|1euro Jarras at 100 montaditos|
|The feast, and wine in bowls!|
|Proper man bar|
|Cathedral by night|
Time to start planning the next one :)
The boys will do the Northern Route same time next year
Now a night on the train, 3 nights in Madrid, and finally back to Melbourne.