The day after

The day after the Camino

This morning I am rather hung over – whoever thought tequila shots were a good idea last night was crazy.  Tequila is never a good idea (particularly when it follows a lot of wine).  So after I got to my hotel, had a rest and a bath (yay full sized bath!), unpacked my pack, did some washing (and freaked out at the way my middle toe had doubled in size from a blister that would mean my toenail would eventually come off) I headed out to meet up with the girls for celebratory wine and tapas at a bar nearby.  When I was almost at the bar I rounded a corner and who should I see having Tapas at another bar? Zie Germans!  They had arrived in Santiago the previous day so it turns out they weren’t that far ahead of me after all, if I hadn’t stopped for a rest day we would have arrived on the same day but then I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people.

I met the girls at the tapas bar – they had managed a trip to Zara and a cosmetics store so looked gorgeous, I was in my spare clean hiking clothes accompanied by my hot pink teeva sandals and socks – yep, Camino fashion at its best!  We struck up a conversation with a bunch of students at the next table – well, when I say we I mean they chatted and my friends translated for me while I made up my own translation as we went.  It got more amusing after a glass of wine or two, particularly as their names were Nacho, Igo and Piker.  Then we joined them for some bar-hopping and us girls were treated to a few Galician delicacies including pigs ear, mussels and a strange cheesy, soapy and vaguely corn flavoured white wine.  Somewhere along the way we met the Santiago pilgrim – a guy who makes his living (or rather drinking) by dressing up as a pilgrim and wandering the streets of Santiago

 After stopping at most of the bars along the street (every door has a bar behind it) and trying a glass of wine or so at each we finally ended up at the bar that all the other pilgrims seemed to have found.  Then someone insisted on Tequila.  It was a blast, I saw quite a few other pilgrims I had crossed paths with along the way including supercaminoman and the general vibe in the bar was one of celebration and relief.

Later on a group of English and Russian tourists arrived and I was able to have a whole conversation in English for the first time that night only to realise that my brain could no longer speak proper English and was firmly stuck in basic easy-to-understand English which was accompanied by excessive hand gestures and not helped by the amount I had had to drink or how tired I was.

It’s funny how the Camino makes everything come together; how you see the same people at different times.  It is like an isolated pocket of destiny.  Life and just being are so much more intense than at home.  People are different, places are different, all experiences are somehow more acute and emotions are more powerful.  One thing, however, remains exactly the same – hangovers…

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