From the Mountain of Joy

This evening I sit in the cafeteria of the alberge (or is it refugio–I don’t know the difference) on Monte de Gozo, the Mountain of Joy. Pilgrims coming from the east for the last 1200 years have had their first view of the Cathedral of Santiago from here. So the name; they have always been joyful that they have arrived so close to their goal.
I only got lost once today as I made my way out of Santiago going backwards along the Camino. The arrows point you to the city. You have to infer where they are coming from by watching the way they are painted or better yet seeing other pilgrims coming from the other direction at critical intersections (a much preferred way not requiring guessing). It is a different task from that of simply following the arrows as we do when we go with the flow.
Today’s walk was only 6.1 km (3.75 mi), a short start, but a start. Tomorrow holds several more kilometers. It feels good to be moving.
Before I left around two I had a number of last minute things to do in the city: attend the Pilgrims’ Mass at noon in the Cathedral and watch the Botafumero swing smokily across the church; say good buy to Santiago the statue and Santiago the bones as well as Santiago the city; buy a new watch (with yellow Santiago shell on it); stop in a optica shop and have my glasses put together again; stop in the official Camino office and make sure our personal credentials will allow us to stay in alberges across Spain (they will though westward pilgrims have priority); buy tooth paste, bananas, and a corkscrew (Petra has our only corkscrew and the bananas were super green, Petra.); and put the cart back together again. (How’s that for a long English sentence, Petra? Almost as long as a good German one?)
If you missed the change I made to the end of the last post, all pictures for Portugal are now on line.

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