Tengo dolor

Santiago de Compostela Travel Blog

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Santiago de Compostela cathedral
Never again. Last night (I think; time is scrambled at the moment) I took a coach from Granada to Madrid, then Madrid to Santiago de Compostela. At 19:00, driving smoothly around the mountains with the sky growing gradually cloudier and darker, I felt relaxed and happy. It was really quite beautiful. Even the stop at the (enormous) Madrid bus station and being piled onto a new bus didn´t bother me. The feeling soon wore off though on the coach from Madrid to Santiago which took from 00:30 to 9:00. Like I say, never again. My feet ache as a result of not finding a comfy spot and all the walking I did yesterday to tire myself out (guess what, it worked, but I couldn´t actually sleep on the coach) and I´m walking around like a zombie.
I nodded off every now and then but the last 3 hours or so were torture as I felt cold and achey and would have sold a kidney for a blanket of some kind. Musn´t grumble though. The time went quite fast but I will take a while to recover. On the coach they played two films that you couldn´t hear; the first a Mel Brooks film with Gene Wilder about Frankenstein, and the second a film with Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin in which she appears to switch bodies with an old man. Nice thought but I don´t really know why they bothered to show them.

Well I got a taxi to the hostel and then realised they wouldn´t open for another hour. I initially felt like breaking down and sobbing in the street but instead I hobbled to a nearby cafe and had my first chocolate con churros in the 7 weeks I´ve been in Spain. Nice, gloopy hot chocolate; I can´t stand a weak hot chocolate.
The hostel did not have my reservation but luckily, ´de pasa nada´and they have slotted me into an 8 bed room. Now this is what a hostel should feel like. Its beyond basic and you have to hold the shower up but by God I´m not complaining. I could have cried with joy at the sight of a bed and fell asleep for a couple of hours before being woken up by German hikers and then a group of Spanish cyclists. Oh well.

Continuing with the healty eating theme, I strolled (limped) through town - I have to say that the old part is very pretty but so far its grey and I´m wearing my rain jacket - and ended up in Pizza Movita and had a cheesy pizza, wedges and a little puddle of mayonaise mixed with ketchup. It was like heaven. I´m sure I will try Galician delicacies soon but sometimes all you need is pure stodge.
The view from my hostel

So I have only been here for a few hours and its hard to judge a place from only walking a few streets, but so far I´m having to remind myself that I´m actually still in the same country. Its just completely different, and not even terms of the climate. It feels very much like Ireland actually (again, I´m not even talking about the climate) and there are Celtic symbols all around. Everyone is in rain coats and stomping around with sticks and backpacks so I´m not feeling too vain here (Thank God, I look like death at the moment) and everyone seems to be on some kind of mission. I´m not quite sure why I´m here, but I guess in some way I´m on a pilgrimage of my own and sorry but I couldn´t express that in a way without sounding corny. On Monday I will meet my friend in La Coruña and I have another couple of weeks in the North. So far I´m missing the insanity of Andalucia but, like everything, I will just have to get used to it. I will watch the football later and then pass out for around 20 hours.

As an extra note, I´m actually proud of myself for getting here. In truth all it took was booking a coach journey online and sitting on my backside for 15 hours but at least I did it. This time yesterday I was staggering around the hot streets of Granada and now I am sat in the basement of a hostel in my rain jacket in the cobbled little old town of Santiago de Compostela. Go me.
mbillini says:
Always listen to your mother when it comes to "The rain in Spain". Glad you are still having fun.xx
Posted on: Jul 05, 2010
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Santiago de Compostela cathedral
Santiago de Compostela cathedral
The view from my hostel
The view from my hostel