We are all really pleased to be released from cell block H. Our clothes have a nasty niff about them, not only from the fat clouded restaurant we went to last night, but also from the damp conditions in the room and the strange smelling bed clothes. A breath of fresh air was all we needed and some coffee.
Off into the dark forest again and Caroline’s pole breaks. Mobile phones are ablaze and a small head torch comes out to try and find the lost spring. As we are stumbling around in the dark, some passing pilgrims are keen to help us, so instead of giving up, we spend an extra ten minutes trying to find it and another five persuading our new-found friends to give up! All of us are on the last stretch and our mood and jubilance reflects it. Nothing’s going to stop us now, so we fix the pole with some spare tape I had wound round my pole and move on. (A little tip Robin picked up from a YouTube video about the Camino.)
Along the way, I remind everyone that it’s William’s birthday today, our youngest son, and I’d like to ring him. Checking the time is just before he leaves for work, we ring and all four of us sing Happy Birthday to him. Not the best rendition, but we were very proud of ourselves, especially the harmonies at the end. William however, was not so impressed, having taken the day off from work and was fast asleep, enjoying a lie-in! We wish him a lovely day and he politely thanks us for our efforts and grunts good-bye.
Caroline and Nick have met William before and ask me what he’s up to today, and I burst into tears! Where did that come from? I guess I am missing my family more than I realised and hate to think I can’t be with William on his birthday. How silly, when I know I’ll be seeing him this weekend…
We’ve got so much to do before that happens…
I begin to think about how I’ll feel when I reach the Cathedral. We won’t be early enough to go to Mass, so I will go to confession when I get there.
Oh my! So many thoughts have been passing through my head, I hardly know where to begin. I decide to give it some proper thought on my journey and pray to God to help me remember what I need to say.
We reach a nasty downward hill and we have to wait for Robin who is obviously struggling. He finds it hard to accept Nick’s heart-felt sympathy when he reaches the bottom, which I feel is a real shame. Robin is definitely the stiff-upper-lip type when it comes to a bit of TLC. He’s either a soft centre or a hard centre; nothing in between.
Nick wants to make a bit of a detour to a monument. “Where is it?” I say. “At the top of that hill,” he explains. I should have known!
I feel we are getting closer and closer now and we begin to see aeroplanes flying over-head coming into land at Santiago airport! Nick and Caroline stop to take photos as they pass under the flight path and experience a great surge as a jet plane flies above them! We can’t be far away now, I think with optimism…. Just as well I didn’t know how far we had to go. Our destination was on the opposite side of this large, sprawling city!
As we finally walk through the Old Town towards the Cathedral, my mind is numb. I can’t really think or feel any emotion. I just need to get there. And of course we do!