Travel Date: Sunday, May 18 2014

Got up early and checked out from the hotel I stayed at. And decided that I needed to begin planning my travel plans around Spain. I walked around to a few coffee shops but there was no wifi. However, I do run into Estela and Bruno from Lisbon, Portugal who I had dinner with yesterday and now I am sharing coffee and conversation with them.

After the quick coffee I jetted out to the train stain. After discovering a train ticket to Cordoba on the same day was going to be 114 Euros, I decided to look into staying in Santiago for one more day instead of leaving. It felt right – so I refused to buy the ticket and went back to the city center and checked into a decent albergue and updated my blog.

I walked by the Cathedral and the Compostela location and ran into a few other pilgrims on the way.

Yan (Holland) who bought me my first vending machine beer was there.

I also ran into Kat (Wisconsin) and Mariam (Iran). Apparently Mariam is the only Iranian pilgrim this year (*so far).

I decided to walk back to the Renfe station and buy a ticket to Cordoba after I heard back from Kara from Roanoke who lives in Cordoba. 90 Euros later I am a poorer man.

I go back to last nights bar and other another juicy burger, and run into a few more people and grab some selfies and pics

Jakob from Germany

Doug (USA) and Mike (Germany)

John (Malta)

Sophie – one of my walking buddies (Germany) who I walked with on a lost adventure. We walked the wrong way for about 0.5 km and then almost got lost again since the path and markers were really really poorly marked.

I see Troy and we decide to go to the Plaza and stare at the Cathedral and relax in the sun. Yan, and a few other friends come by later. And then Kat and Mariam stop by as well.

Later that evening I meet up with Sophie and her friend Rose and we run into a few other people and decide to grab dinner at a local restaurant nearby. Rose and I are sitting together and we decide to share the seafood platter. It was delicious.

And then one of my favorites Emily (Australia) comes by with her mom. I was so hoping to see her to spend time and say goodbye. Her mom came down to Ponferrada and walked with Emily on the Camino.

An violinist started playing near us and he was amazing. Just soothing to listen to. I was compelled to give him a Euro and others followed suit as well.

I ran into Randy (USA) and a few other more friends and the table just grew and grew.

After dinner a few of us went back to the plaza to look at the Cathedral in the night. We lied in the floor and looked at it upside down. Apparently Sophie’s German Camino Guide book suggested that we do that. It was both silly and amusing at the same time. All in good fun.

We walked around for a bit looking for a bar that was open but it was all closed down. Finally we found a small hole in the wall place and ran into a few more peregrinos, had a few drinks and called it an night, and wished each other the best.

I walked back to my albergue in the empty lit and quiet streets of Santiago reflecting on the journey.

Not sure when I will see everyone again. The Camino is an amazing and intense experience. The friendships which were built will hopefully continue to grow over the years. I miss my new friends already. (Tear)