In addition to August being the European vacation time, the number of pilgrims is enormous.
They swell in number as we get closer to Santiago. They come from six different routes, not just the French route which is the one I took. I met a couple this evening from Vancouver Canada who just completed the Portuguese route, and loved it. It was the fourth route that they have done over the years.
Today was a long day as you would imagine, covering the last 57 miles. Needless to say, it was all not downhill. Up and on the bike at 6, and off it at 4.
Since I arrived in Santiago, I have spent most of my time doing little "to do's". Returned my rental bike. Rented a car. Went to a laundermat and washed my clothes for the first time in two weeks. Took two Aleve and a long shower. Stood In line for an hour to get my certificate that documents having completed the pilgrimage. Checked into my room, which I am lucky to get. Took 10 phone calls to get the last one. And the room is very basic -- 4th floor walk up, bed (not the floor), your own bathroom (which is so small that you cannot bend over and touch your toes), no phone, no meals, no laundry, no wifi, and no TV. But it is mine for two nights in a row and one block from the Cathedral.
I really have not relaxed or slowed down yet. I really have not taken all of this in yet. "All of this" being that I have just completed a twelve day experience riding a bike 500 miles. Not just any 500 miles but the pilgrimage that has attracted hundreds of thousands of people from all over the globe for many centuries.
I can't imagine what tomorrow will be like. I am worried about withdrawal pains.
Will I sleep in past 6? Will I put Vaseline on my crotch? Will I instinctively put on my cycling shorts and shirt?
Not sure what tomorrow is going to be like?