Golf’s most famous bridge is the Swilcan on the 18th hole at St Andrews Old Course. Here I was crossing the Ponte Romana on the last day of the Camino Primitivo. The bridge is located about 50 meters from the Casa da Ponte hotel. Although the CP will continue to Santiago after merging with the French Way in Melide, we have made it through the gauntlet of several hard days. We could relax on these final miles.
The “we” was a band of five, four of us completing the CP (Bart from Belgium, Sam and Margot from Salt Lake City, and moi) and a newcomer Laura from Lugo. Laura was a biology graduate of the University of Santiago de Compestella (the other USC) with a teaching Masters degree. She found that teaching wasn’t for her. At the moment, she is scooping helados. She has applied for a Masters program in bioinformatics. She wanted to complete a Camino during this lull in her life. We hiked up to our last CP mountain with what else on top, wind generators.
On the way, we stopped for some cafe at Casa Camino, a three room albergue that is luxuriously appointed. A German couple who love Spain bought this 800 year old building and completely redesigned the interior. I recommend this place to everyone! We took a group photo in the lounge area.
We walked on mostly on paved roads. We passed a happy door, appreciated the sign warning drivers that pilgrims were on the road, smiled at the small statue of St James at a fork in the path, and we were surprised by the iconic American symbol of Route 66.
Another two hours passed and the comida call came to our bellies. We stopped for cerveza (Bart and I) and agua con gas (Laura). We polished off our boccadillos (sandwiches) of chorizo and huevos with real crusty bread. Sonia was our gracious host.
A few miles more and we were in Melide. The time had come to say good-bye to Bart and Laura. We already said our farewells to Sam and Margot at our lunch stop. They had eaten at a cafe before ours and were staying at an albergue six km beyond Melide. The chances of seeing them all are slim because we will be reaching Santiago on different days, Thursday for them and Friday for me. So, our travel times won’t be in synch. It was sad to depart from those whom you shared the challenges and stories of the CP.
BUT I met up with Cristina and Jamie from Canary Islands. They were staying at an albergue right around corner. They will be arriving on Santiago on Friday, the same day as I. Over what else, cervezas, we planned meeting for a last supper st a restaurant Cris’s brother recommended — excellent food for the price. Until then, I will most likely be on my own surrounded by pilgrims from the French Way.
I end this entry with a photo that Bart took and sent me. I am up the road with Sam and Margot. The shadow in the foreground is Bart whose form looks like St James with a staff. Perhaps St James like Kobo Daishi was watching over us all along.
2 thoughts on “Day 11 (16 May) CP’s Last Day — 15 Miles”
Sad to say goodbye to friends but who knows? You may meet again on another Camino! Today’s walk seemed peaceful and thoughtful. I hope the walk to Santiago is the same. Enjoy the last days of peace, nature, and solitude! Happy trails tomorrow!
Another wonderful adventure… and what a bonus to meet up with and connect with the other pilgrim pictured before parting ways. Enjoy the walk to Santiago!