I spend 3 days in Santiago and meet up with lovely Carrin who I had spent 5 days walking with from Burgos and then meet up again with in Leon. Janine and I met up with her and had dinner. She was to leave the next day to UK to visit a friend, so good to exchange experiences, she could really relate to the feeling in the Cathedral de Santiago.Apparently people pay to have the big incense burnt in the mass and you never know when it will happen.The next day we catch up again as she is leaving in the afternoon, we get some photos at the two Maria’s, I get a new Sd card for my phone so I can get some photos from her before she leaves.Sad to say goodbye, we will meet again as we both know our meeting was no accident.
Janine is out so I walked to the square by the cathedral and connect with a man pilgrim there called Laars, we chat about our journey and he has just returned from Friniste. I say goodbye and go back to hotel, it’s Janine last night before she flies out to meet her boyfriend in the south Spain. I get up early and say goodbye, another sad moment but we also will meet again. I have to change hotel rooms and so go out while new room is prepared, I decide to check out the pilgrims museum, it was amazing. When I come out I run into Laars who asked if I want have coffee, we chat for an hour or so.He’s walking the Camino as it was recommended by a,friend of his who had recently passed away at 47 from Cancer. He was still pretty emotional about it. We exchanged numbers, he messaged me later in the evening to catch up but I was resting as feeling pretty shattered from the journey and for 2 night had not sleep well as our room boarded a busy street which people were partying in till 6 am.I caught up with Laars the next day for lunch before we were both departing to go on our way.Laars to Mardid , where he told me later he had his phone stolen and lost all his photos. I was flying to London to catch up with friends Liz and Kathryn.
Waiting for the bus to the airport I start talking to a girl who has a Kathmandu pack, either nz or Australian as that is the brand. Yes she was Lucy from Te Puke Nz and had done some of the Camino. Then she says “But I have been traveling for a while, I was volunteering in a school in Nepal” .I ask where?She says “oh just in a small village”. I say “was it heaven hill?”. With a surprised look she says “yes” .I tell her I was there too. We chat all the way to the airport and we are catching the same flight to London. Camino connection never ends.
I arrive at Gatwick airport to be met by the lovely Kathryn, so pleased to be with familiar faces again. When I get to there house, Liz says the next day she has to work in Newhaven near Brighton, did I want come for the ride for the day.I decide to go and walk from there to Brighton, it’s a good 22km I find out, took me4 and half hours as it’s a wild windy day and I walked along the cliffs above the Altantic ocean. So nice to be near the sea again, Brighton is a sea side town with quite an alternative feel about it, found somewhere to have lunch about 2.30pm so interesting to observe this English speaking culture, I chat to a couple older Welsh men who think I am Australian.By 3.30 pm all the lights are coming on as it’s nearly dark, the streets are well decorated with Christmas lights, it was very pretty. I wandered around and enjoyed the people, shops and interactions. Then I found a typical English pub to hang out in till Liz picked me up at 7.30pm.
Home for a good sleep,I didn’t realise how much my body actually needed rest, not to walk another 22km.