The first half of this year has been noted by the rain and storms along the caminos, interspersed with some short periods of dry hot weather. The rain has caused damage and erosion to various parts of the camino frances and other caminos, making walking and cycling more difficult. I was on the Portugues camino in June and mostly we managed to dodge the rain which at times was torrential. But the sun came out a bit as well, and it wasn’t as hot as the same time last year. I find it easier walking in cooler weather.
Big news on the camino this year is the claim by some historians that a cup held in the Museum of San Isidoro in Leon is in fact the holy grail, which has rapidly increased the numbers of pilgrims heading to that museum.
In Santiago, midday mass at the Cathedral continues to be crowded but there are other masses to go to as well, including a 10.30am mass in English. Several new albergues, hotels and pensions have opened in Santiago giving more options on places to stay. Restaurants and cafes appear to be busy in the old area around the Cathedral, with Cafe Casino a great place for a drink. For a good value meal near the Cathedral one of my favourite places is Casa Manolo. It opens for lunch at 1300, no reservations so if you arrive to late you will often need to queue.
I had a pleasant morning tea a few days ago with self guided clients Linda and Colleen at one of my favourite smaller cafes Cafeteria Belke, where friendly Isabel does great tea, coffee, natural orange juice, chocolate con churos and a good variety of toasts and sandwiches. The Belke was a pleasant place to hear about Linda and Colleen’s experiences on the camino. Today I ran into Linda at the Post Office and we had a coffee at the small café in the local market, Mercado de Abastos, great for fresh fruit, vegetables, fish & seafood. If you buy seafood or fish the cafe will cook it for you for a few euros. I hope Linda and Colleen will come back again!
Buen camino to all!