Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Final Day to Santiago

We started out on a beautiful sunny and cool morning. Too warm for tights, but perfect for a wind breaker. Not a cloud in the sky!
This is our 17th day on the road and so far the best starting weather we have had.
Because at the town we are starting at trails merge from the south and our route. because of it, we were going to see lots pf Pilgrims all day long.
First things first, we headed into town to get a stamp for our passports. Almost all the way filled with stamps, any chance we can get now, we will stop
. The towns square had the most magnificent fish shop. Simple and clean. I had to stop just to take a look. Being the very best town in Spain for Octopus, I was expecting to see at least a few. Check out the photos below. It looked great!

Once on the road we started passing Pilgrims. Mostly older folk getting a late start as we were too.
There are many stops along the way for pilgrims to stop and buy things. I'm sure there are more in season, but we had never seen anything like it in the past. We figured it was because how popular the Camino has become.
We crossed a little stream with a high stone bridge. A fellow ran up and pointed to my shoes and said, no good! He grabbed the front of our tandem and helped me across. It was then I noticed he only had one leg.
We were not sure exactly of his story, but he had lost his leg in a accident. He was from Romania and had a little stand selling T shirts and stamping Passports with his stamp and sealing wax. Of course we left him with some change.
Our ride was hilly and sunny. Not too hot and the perfect route for older Pilgrims to just do the last part into Santiago.

All day long we passed Pilgrims. Hundreds. There were large groups at times and now I just rang the bell to pass, slowly. They all seemed to not mind us being on the trail and one yelled out, "That's the way you do it!'

Climbing all day long, we reached the outskirts of Santiago around 5:30. The streets were crowded with cars. Cobble stones are hard to ride on and speeding cars that you feel, don't like Pilgrims, make the final mile tough.

The view of the first tower is such a relief! Knowing whats in store and to simply park the bike.

Our tandem did well. Two broken cables and 3 flats. The timing chain fell off once. We beat the crap out of our poor bike and it just kept working. The best thing we ever did was to change the gearing. The 24 tooth chainring became a close friend! The easier hill climbing made most of the steep smooth climbs doable.

The last days ride we climbed 3000'. Mostly off road.

Would we do this again! Most likely Yes, but not for at least another month.

Here are some of the photos from our last day to Santiago:

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