Leaving Oviedo proved to be slightly more difficult than anticipated, we waved goodbye to Liliane’s family to head west, or so we thought! GP recalculated several times, and then it started to rain (so I chased the compass for while). The rain did not stop for 5 and some hours it took us to join the 350 km separating the capital of Asturias from the Saint city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the wettest city of Spain.
We did not take any pics until we reached the city, a few kilometers short the rain finally gave way. Apart from my gloves which reminded me of the subtle difference between water resistance, and water proof, the rest of our gear and ST performed well.
The large adjustable windshield of the bike is a blessing in wet weather riding. As I mentioned before, we have been following the Camino de Compostela loosely since Grenoble, and when we landed in town we were tired, and weary from the rain. It had not been a particular long ridding day, but getting lost right from the get go and 5 hours of heavy rain had taken their toll.
Nothing that a glass of red could not cure (un baso de tinto). We have been using hostelbooker.com and lastminute.com to find a spot but we had been unable to book a a room, because many were full. But we got lucky and benefited from a last minute cancellation at one of our previous elected spot. A 2 stars hostel ten minutes walk from the old city for 37€ for the room and 4€ so ST could spend the night in the garage.
After showering and warming up, we headed for the old town, (la ciudad antigua), to get our first glance at the cathedral that has commended so many pilgrims to their knees, after having walked the Camino from wherever their point of origin was.
And there she was in all her magnificence
Nothing to plug your power tools in when this baby was build, think about that for a minute or two.
You need a wide lense to even begin to give it justice.
Like so many before us, we where mesmerized by its beauty and its size. It is impossible to know whose bones were actually found, and precisely when and how, the pilgrimage started. Legends abound.
Jackie the accidental pilgrim
Not that it really matters, but what the history of the pilgrimage requires, is what the meagre sources fail to reveal, it is not well known how the local Galician cult associated with the saint of St James was transformed into an international cult drawing pilgrims from distant parts of the world.
A few from inside
The 1000 year old pilgrimage to the shrine of St James, Zebedee’s son and brother of St John the Evangelist, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is known in English as the way of St James, and in Galician as the Camiņo de Santiago.
It was slowly getting dark and we were getting hungry
So we found this place, and bought some food stuff for the room.
The city at night was simply enchanting.
In the morning we gave ST a day of rest and walk around more, this time enjoying the wonderful architecture under blue skies.
Over 100,000 pilgrims travel to the city each year from points all over Europe, and other parts of the world. However, few get their on a an ST with license plates from Manitoba.
And Palm threes were there too.
Tomorrow we travel south to Salamanca, stick around for more...