- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 27 - Rest Day in Santiago de Compostela, Spain
A well deserved rest day spent exploring Santiago de Compostela with it's ancient Medieval walls, stone alleyways and the famous Cathedral which marks the end of the Way of St James, better known as the Pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago.
Not only is this a place that holds a very special place for all of those who do the Camino, it is also a city full of students who attend one of the oldest Universities in Europe which was founded in 1495.
There is much history and heritage in this Medieval place that has granite streets, the imposing Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral overlooking expansive squares and it's Old Town that has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1985.
There is a Museum dedicated to the Pilgrims, and various museums, tree lined parks and an enticing central food market.
What happens on these rest days aside from the sightseeing and sleeping?
Its a maintenance and cleaning day as well as a rest day which involves stocking up on items that have broken or malfunctioned, finding more batteries for the satellite transponder and enjoying meals at leisure without worrying about the weather or the bike.
The panniers are emptied out and cleaned and dried.He makes sure that everything is repacked in logical order so that nothing gets wet when riding in the rain but the more important items or most used things are easily accessible.
Bike maintenance includes checking the chain, tires and gear mechanism and checking the bike out thoroughly to preempt any problems that may occur.
Recharging of all the equipment - the Garmin watch, phone, battery packs and satellite tracker.
Helmets , shoe covers, gloves and clothing are washed a dried and ready to be used again.
Everything is packed separately in plastic Ziplock bags so that every item is dry and cannot be contaminated by anything else should that item get wet, muddy etc
Eating well is essential on these long distance trips and Grant has had some issues with keeping this balance right on the road.
A balance of high protein and carbohydrates with good hydration is essential and Grant has really missed plates of vegetables at dinner, salads and fresh produce as Spanish restaurant food is far from his ideal eating regimen.
He does buy lots of fresh fruit from the markets which keeps him going during the day.
It's also a day for replenishment of anything that has been used up - toiletries, creams, energy bars, tissues etc
The touristy photo taking and sight seeing comes after all is done so that photos are sent to Dropbox at the end of the day ready for me to download for the blog entry.
Thank goodness for modern technology, Instagram, WhatsApp and Voice notes which keep us updated and in touch throughout the day.The video calls are especially appreciated as the children love to see their Dad- even with the beard and disheveled helmet hair!
Our Mission. Their Future.
"One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others"