Saturday, May 10, 2014

Euro11: Back to Santiago

 ~April 20
Santiago has not been a fun place, though things could have been different.
First I left Marie behind, so I had an early start hoping for a pretty sunrise, but it was so dark I got lost and there was no sun because of the rain. then found out that grandma was probably dead. And had nobody to talk to, only seeing three other pilgrims that day.
The next day I saw 4 pilgrims until Santiago, where I arrived only a little late for the church service but was not allowed in because I had my backpack. I had a bit of an altercation with Aurore, because I wanted to see her again for Easter but she didn't know where she would be and had been invited by other friends to do stuff. I didn't meet anybody I knew all day and so introduced myself to some English speakers and had dinner with them.
So Palm Sunday I guessed I should fly to Bruxelles next and booked the flight for the 18th even though I may be spending Easter all alone. I went to the pilgrim service and was in a procession between the two churches. But it was such a family event that with a bit of home sickness and thinking that grandma was probably dead, well I was on the verge of tears most of the day. I met Marie again for a little before the pilgrim service and I could have had dinner with her the previous night, then I lost her again before the service began and sat through an extremely long Spanish monologue. Because of all the mucking about with flights and finding a computer that actually worked I ended up staying an extra night. I had a nice vegan meal with the Portuguese pilgrims again this night.
Monday I should have gone to the post office to collect my extra bags, but I thought they were safe there and didn't need anything. So I took the early bus to Cee and had a relaxing holiday again for three days.
Coming back from Finisterra by bus took 4 hours, as opposed to the possible one if I had hired a taxi for an extra 2€. Then the postoffice is shut because it is Maundy Thursday and it seems I may be able to get my bags on Saturday. This means my flight home is on the wrong day. But I couldn't check or change anything on the internet. The phone number they have calls a Spanish speaking robot, so I decide to take the bus to the airport to see them in person. There appears to be no offices closer to town. On the way to the bus station 4 ATM's refused to give me cash so I may only have 20€ for the next 2 days. At the airport the Vueling office is on seista until 19:30 so I could either give up on the ~200€ that I have already paid or spend the next 2 hours going into the city to wait there for half an hour, but I decided to wait in the very boring airport. Because it is possible that I can't get my bags from the post office on Saturday and have to actually wait until Tuesday for the Easter period to be over. Which may mean that my 20€ needs to last 5 days.
I could have had a relaxing time in Santiago, but practically my whole visit was either being lonely or trying to organize leaving
Then grandma died on the 18th which didn’t worry me nearly as much as probably being dead.

So then the post office is shut on Saturday, there is one post office open in all of Santiago in a mall. A friendly Spaniard who also was waiting at the door was able to call around to find this out. So we took a taxi to the mall. Even at that post office they didn't know why the main office was closed. They the best solution that they had was to have me sign a Spanish form allowing somebody else to collect the parcel on my behalf, when they open again maybe the 22nd, Tuesday. So the plan was to get that person to then forward it on to Norway where I might catch it before going home.
While I met a lot of my old camino friends on sat and Sunday morning nobody had any spare cash and nobody was going to still be in Santiago on Tuesday. Eventually I tried the pilgrim services office and after 2 hours I think it is all sorted.
Thus I leave Santiago with only smelly clothes, wearing nearly all of them and a rather empty backpack as carrion luggage. The next adventure is that I still don't know what exactly I will do in Bruxelles, the few Steam contacts I have were unresponsive, I think I may have joined a few dead groups. I still wait to hear from Eduard or Aurore, who have both been busy doing Easter things. But my flight to Bodø is organised on the 23rd to be just in time for anzac day and possibly some gaming with friends back home.

Though a lot of the time was spent socialising with new friends. Thus these photos.

and these are photos that other people collecxted

Exept these photos are not mine. I forgot where I saved them. I got these after being in Santiago when I actually had reliable internet in Norway. I'm regretting not recording then where I got the photos from and who took them.