Home Pilgrimages Way of St. James 2018 – The route back home

Way of St. James 2018 – The route back home

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The morning is very loud, we hear a yelling and and unusual racket. We look out of the window and find out that the source of the clamor is an argument and subsequently also a fight of two middle aged guys and at times even inside a small greengrocery, which we have directly against the window across the road. It only takes a few minutes and it’s hard to tell what the argument was about. Anyway, the situation calms down in the moment when someone calls the police and the law enforcement officers can only check the fruit freshness now.

For us, packing and the route to the airport awaits. And since we have to be at the airport in the afternoon, we decide to go to a beach by subway and enjoy the last day in Portugal. The route by subway is okay and the fact that we’re on the right station is very visible thanks to other passengers leaving the subway with beach towels, parasols and all sorts of inflatable things.

Hurray to the beach

The only hitch comes in the moment when after leaving the subway we want to withdraw money from an ATM. When we finally find an ATM, my card disappears in the bowels of the carnivore without the possibility of getting it out. While I’m trying to get my card out of this tin monster, Jitka goes inside to the bank to get help. Eventually, the ATM gives me the card back even without violence and the assistance of a bank clerk. Another ATM gives me both my card and the cash with no complications so we can finally go to a nearby café to gain some energy by the same breakfast that we’ve been having for the past few days, coffee with milk and the Portuguese dessert. It’s only a short distance from the café to the beach so it doesn’t take long and we’re standing by a wall on the edge of the sandy beach.

Santiago is calling

At the wall, there is a blue tile with a pilgrim, a sign of a seashell and an arrow indicating the direction of Santiago. Our sights with Jitka meet and it’s clear that there’s going to be no beach today.

The arrow works as a magnet and who was on camino once understands that we just had to continue. Just for a while, a few more kilometers as a goodbye. So, after a while our credentials are richer of one stamp and our legs of a few more kilometers.

“Life is short, so live it.”

As an SRP, i.e. safe return point we pick a lighthouse recognizable in the distance. We find a few geocaches on our way and some pilgrims pass us by. We’re envious of them.

We stop at the lighthouse for a while, looking at the sea level and the path continuing towards Santiago, we are now saying goodbye to this year’s pilgrimage and then we are turning and taking a lazy step back to Porto.

On our way there, we stop at a playground to hide our bamboo sticks, our friends who have walked through a part of Portugal with us and who we’re hoping to find again on the beginning of our pilgrim continuation to Santiago de Compostela.

Since it’s chokingly hot and we still have some time left, we stop for a beer in a pub. I’m no beer enthusiast but the beer here is just great. We’re sitting in the heat under a parasol and holding a still cold and dewy glass in our hands. We would love to buy some more, but we have to get going now. At the fish market we get on the subway that gets us (with one transfer) to the airport.

The airport isn’t very big so it’s not hard to orient here. We’re here in advance, so that we could have my backpack, hiding one bottle of wine, wrapped. The wrapping costs as much as a whole box of wine probably, but whatever.

Hurray to the airplane

Of course, we’re the first ones to be in the check-in, so we go get checked and wait for our flight right to our GATE. We’re first here, too, but it even doesn’t matter, because when the delayed for more than an hour airplane finally opens, something like a crowd frenzy breaks out and everyone is trying to get on the plane first. One of the first ones is also a woman with two sons who looks like a pilgrim. The more surprising her actions are. We keep calmly sitting because no one is going to steal our seats anyway.

When the queue finally calms down, we go to the bowels of the airplane, too. We are moving through the fuselage to our seats and what a surprise. The woman who was in such hurry is sitting on the aisle seat. I don’t get why she was so urgent to get here when now she has to stand up for us anyway. 

The shining cities below us look like futuristic drawings from this height.

We are in Prague

The flight is calm and we land in Prague on the first attempt. And even with a smaller delay than when we took off. A long night at the airport awaits us. The first train home is leaving at half past five.

For a few hours, the seats in KFC become our home. Around four o’clock we leave with the nightly Public transport bus in the direction of the center. It’s a pity it doesn’t go up to the train station. We have to get off at a station that’s the closest to the Main train station which is I.P.Pavlova and then we continue marching through the dark Prague.

On the train station we nestle to the train and while it’s slowly driving off in the direction of MariánskéLázně, we slowly closing our eyes. We get off in MariánskéLázně and the very last walking route with backpack on our backs begins – we’re going home.

And the fact that it didn’t end with this is clear. One can never know nothing for sure, but we know this. WE WILL RETURN!

Today’s video

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