More pictures to come… having some technical difficulties
The route into Santiago on the Camino Sanabres is the best approach by far of any caminos we have done. At three kilometres from the Cathedral we were still going up and down in a very rural landscape. At one kilometre we popped into the city proper.
My bike was starting to slip out of its gears more and more so we added a slight detour to a bike store. I was hoping a new chain would resolve the problem, but instead the guy showed me how loose my freewheel was and told me in Spanish that my bike was finished. It was devastating news to absorb as we entered Santiago. Instead of enjoying our moment, we were trying to figure out what we would do next. If it had happened at the end of the trip I would have just brought it home, but in the middle of a trip it was more problematic. I was trying to accept the reality that I would have to dump the bike and buy a new one. It felt like the loss of an old friend who had helped me to finish four Caminos after I was no longer able to walk them. I posted my sad update on the Bike Friday website and my iPad started buzzing with responses. Many of them insisted that it was reparable and not to dump the bike. One guy even offered to get and ship me the parts from the UK! With this information Gord and I walked my bike across town to get a second opinion. The second bike store was not so pessimistic and said they would work on it if we left it overnight.
I’m delighted to say that bike was resurrected from a near death. I now have a new wheel, hub and cogs, but unfortunately no hub shifter. I’ve lost a few gears at the low end for climbing but the bike is working well. This means we can continue with our plans to do a second Camino without a funeral for my bike, and the expense of buying another one. I will have a hub shifter installed again when I get home.
Once the bike was in the shop getting repaired we could shift back to enjoying our arrival in Santiago. I’m moved to tears watching the pilgrim reunions in the square in front of the Cathedral. On our first arrival in Santiago we refound our friends Gilda and Maja. A few years ago Gilda lost his battle with cancer, but I can still see him smiling in the square with his grandmother’s violin.
We had lunch with two new pilgrim friends. Uncha and her friend met at age two when they were both children in Korea. Uncha moved to the US in her twenties, but the two friends reconnected and have done several Caminos together. Gord and I were stunned to hear that they were in their early seventies. Their smooth complexions are an advertisement to fiercely avoid the sun, as they always do.
Wandering back to our apartment we ran into Doug, a Camino friend from Victoria. What a lovely Camino moment when we were feeling a bit sad that the group we started with in Seville were no longer in Santiago.