Monday, April 20, 2009

Monte do Gozo/ Santiago de Compostela

We walked straight past Monte do Gozo. What else was there to do? Santiago de Compostela was so close and it was still early in the day… Suddenly we were passing a sign that announced that we had arrived. It was heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. We trudged further following the arrows. On and on and on into the city. Once you arrive at the city outskirts, it’s a rude shock to discover how much further you have to go. Arriving at the Cathedral we were exhausted and desperately wanting a rest. After asking for directions we made our way into the city. We finally made it to the albergue, only to find it was closed until April. I was horrified. But the kind man informed us that there were two others that we could stay at and he gave us a map with both of them marked out. So off we went to the second albergue. It didn’t exist. We walked around for ages trying to find it, but despite asking for a million directions, we were still left standing at the right address, with no albergue in sight. We began walking to the next one. Suddenly, a French couple that we’d seen previously appeared from nowhere and informed us that none of the albergues were open, and we had to go back to Monte do Gozo. We made it back to Monte do Gozo, struggled up and up and up the hill to the rooms and I almost passed out from bliss. Turns out we shared a dorm with the French couple, and there were only three other women there, which meant that the bathroom was blissfully empty most of the time. Hot water, doors on the showers, a kitchen, and most importantly, the people there were relaxed and lovely.

Once when Gill and I were having a cup of tea in the kitchen, an Italian man walked in, placed a pink scarf on the table and said ‘For you!’ before walking out again. I managed to blurt out a ‘thank you’ to his retreating figure despite my confusion. I’d never spoken to this guy before. Still, despite the fact that after that I was too shy to talk to him, the scarf is beautiful and it made me feel good.

Also, once there was a donkey outside my window. I've learnt to appreciate the little things.

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