Day 9 was one of those days which have not left a very memorable trace in my mind. But there should be days like that, just getting in the routine of walking, which isn’t bad at all. It was a flat, long walk (over 30 km…again) with grumpy weather but considering we had to reach Santiago de Compostela the next day (already?!), we preferred to walk more that day and treat ourselves with a pleasurable short walk for the last day.
In my opinion one can sense a variety of mixed feelings through these last kilometres of the Camino. Some pilgrims feel melancholic – the truth is that you get used to the reality of the Camino rather quickly and its routines and peculiarities start to feel natural. So for people like me who perceived the way as a carefree experience where all troubles and stress of everyday life are somewhere far, far away, the thought of reaching your final destination may be a little unsettling. Some people who are result oriented cannot wait to reach it and accomplish the mission, which is also understandable (but please do not forget to enjoy the way). Others probably had enough and want to go home. Like the couple we met in Santiago, who had traveled more than 2000 km on bikes all the way down from the Netherlands. So they stopped at Santiago and went to Finisterre by bus as they had enough. This is also understandable. I am pretty sure a wide range of feelings can be detected along these last kilometres.
At that point for me Santiago was just a stage in my Camino, as we were heading for Finisterre.
We had lunch along the way again, took us a few kilometres to find the perfect spot, but the view is crucial It was next to a very quiet section of the Camino, in a forest area. Pilgrims were constantly passing us by, generally all being very happy that we are eating and wishing us Bon appetit.
So reaching Santa Irene we made three mistakes. First, we took some wrong turn and found ourselves on the other side of a huge busy road. Crossing it was an utterly unpleasant experience so please take care when entering Santa Irene. Second, we stayed in the municipal albergue (as I’ve mentioned before I tend to spare myself such events), however, I was too tired to walk another 3 kilometres. Probably I was spoiled with the lovely albergues we slept in the previous nights, so I was not feeling very thrilled with the environment that day. Not to mention the albergue was right on the side of the road (very busy) so generally I got excellent audibility of the traffic noise straight from my bed. My favourite aspect of the evening, however, was that if we wanted to have something to eat, we had to go back 1 km (back to where we came from) and then back again. So that basically makes up for mistake #3 – we should have done the 3 additional kilometres instead of running back and forth and staying in this place.