Stage 12 ~ Santander to Santillana del Mar

22 miles. And there is no Mar. Ugh. Totally what was keeping me going the last couple of miles. Why name a city ‘del Mar’ if it is not by the sea?

The albergue in Santander had lights out at 10pm, and, boy, were they serious about it! There was WiFi, and I had just finished uploading the pictures from the previous day, which often takes a while. I was going to upload the written blog post as well, but at exactly 10:01 the hospitalero (volunteer who runs the place) came around and shut off the remaining light in the main room (we were in an annex room and our lights were already out). She said good night to the guys in that room she could see were still awake and then must’ve gone back to the office and turned off WiFi, because at 10:02, I lost signal and never had it again, even in the morning!  Totally ok, as I was almost ready to sleep anyway, but it would have been nice for 5 more minutes to upload the post, or to have it in the morning to check the weather forecast.

Turned out to be rainy. Again. But, again, it cleared up after a bit and became quite pleasant, and though a bit threatening at times, didn’t rain again.

I wish I could say the whole walk was pleasant, but it was honestly a bit dreary, too. Mostly urban/suburban/industrial sprawl without many useful facilities, such as a shop or bakery. We did have coffee after a couple of hours, and that was refreshing.

Mentally, things were good today. I tried very hard to not get discouraged and I was definitely in a better place than I have been before. Not pleasant scenery, but a pleasant walk.

At least for the first few hours. About midday we took the train 1 stop over the river because there used to be a boat for pilgrims, but it is gone since the railroad came through. You also used to be able to walk the tracks, but it is forbidden now. The new Camino goes 8km around the river, so we decided to take the train. And then a nice group lunch at the station where we ended up. The afternoon began to drag after that and seemed to go on forever.

Apparently, I still struggle with the sin of pride. I know you all are shocked, but it is true! I was thinking to myself how great it was today that I’m stronger and getting better at this and taking care of myself so things don’t hurt anymore, and then things started to hurt again. My baby toe’s blister is all better, but I developed one on the toe next to it! I had also been thinking how great it was that I hadn’t been pushing myself so hard as to get shin splints again (they  went away after the first 3 days here). And then I hobbled into town. The last mile of downhill on the hard stone was torture. Plus I have this weird blue spot on my knee. Like a blue bruise, but I didn’t bump it. I felt a little pain and looked down and now I can see blue. And my hips are a bit sore to sleep. So, I’m going to stop thinking about feeling better, because I end up feeling worse! Pride goeth before a fall.

So how about we don’t discuss my spiritual progress. Which happens to be very little, but I don’t want to lose what little graces I might have earned by talking about any of it. Suffice to say, I am not where I want to be. Good thing there’s still about 500km to go!

And this town is cute, despite the lack of sea. Very touristic, as it is quite a well-preserved medieval town. Lots of stone buildings and stone roads, too. I’d like to see in the church, but it was closed today (Monday), and we will probably leave before it opens tomorrow. I’d love it if more churches were open here, but at least I can pray as I pass.

Municipal albergue: 6€
Coffees and toatadas: 3€
Grocery store: 11€

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