Last night after dinner we had this ceremony, sildenafil queinada, more about that is an ancient one in this region where alcohol is mixed with coffee beans, fruit and sugar and stirred up in a big pot with flames coming out of the pot as you lift the large ladle. The guy doing it then said this long incantation in Spanish which when translated is about all the stuff that goes into the pot – like “eye of newt” and other witches brew type things including the lying tongue of a young wife married to an older husband. You are supposed to throw all your “bad things” (figuratively) into the brew and then drink it. Most of the alcohol is burnt off so it just tastes like a sweet drink.
This morning we started our last trek into Santiago. I took our bus 6 km further on than the rest of the group so they walked 12 km before lunch and I did 6. My legs and knees are still hurting so each step was excruciating. It was drizzling this morning but was mostly off and on. I arrive at the lunch place in San Lazare just as you enter Santiago around 12:15 and the first of the rest arrived at 12:30 – he walks fast. The last ones came in at 2:00. During lunch it started pouring rain but lessened when we were ready to leave. There was another 5 km or so to go to get to the hotel so I took a taxi – 5 minutes and got here about 3:00. My roommate isn’t here yet and it is 4:50 pm.
Santiago is where the tomb of the Apostle St. James was discovered and the first cathedral here was built in 830. Work on the present building began in 1075. The discovery of the tomb brought the stream of travellers. The heyday of the pilgrimages took place betwee the 11th and 13th centuries.