Sitting in the sun, a view of snow covered mountains to the South, waiting for a bus . . . Santander is only 30km away and tempting to walk . . . the ankle is healing, but wants more time . . . other signs that a break is due: trousers worn through, seams coming apart on the shoes . . . this Camino del Norte wants walking though . . . from Irun next year maybe?
Meanwhile, musing on what's next . . . family and friends to see, before that, Krishnamurti, whose philosophy inspired the trip, who is known to many of the folks along the caminos . . . a chance to relax and review the adventure where it started last November - beautiful Brockwood in Bramdean, near Petersfield. K passed in 1985; his works are held at Brockwood and since the trip has been almost book-free, a welcome chance to study.
Stanhope calls . . . I felt at home there the first time I went . . . back to the fells having dodged the snow, though walking the fells with sun reflecting off snow is blissful too.
As for Santillana, if you want to see an example of a restored mediaeval village, with 5 star hotels tucked in ancient buildings and an amazing museum of pre-history, this is the place. No sea though.
The bus goes to Torrelevega, where a friendly Chinese bloke replaces the glasses left in San Vicente . . . then the train into Santander, which is a good way to arrive . . . with Claus, 52, retired further education teacher, from Frankfurt, now retired from the Camino del Norte, due to injury . . .
Santander looks fine in the sunshine, though the ferry port is closed. Strolling along the bay, Rudolf, 58, from Michigan, via Rotterdam, early retired facilities manager, due to early onset dementia, about to start the Camino . . . strangely he never once forgets my name in the hour or two we share over lunch . . . where Carol and Peter, Irish pilgrims, are off to join Ryanair's Dublin flight . . . Carol has been walking the Northern Route in instalments, Peter has cycled from Biarritz along the French Way to Santiago and back to Santander along the coast . . . epic trip!
The last albergue is simple (Carol said basic), tomorrow's bed will be on the boat, as long as they have a spare berth when the ticket office opens in the morning . . . for now there is cafe internet and a glass of wine . . .