For the past 37 days, my identity has been one of Pilgrim or in Spain – Peregrina. It was a label that has it’s purposes and advantages, such as getting lost and locals immediately putting me right; getting discount at some hostels and being offered a ‘Pilgrim meal ‘ consisting of 3 courses for around €10.
It also has it’s disadvantages. The locals get frustrated with us yakking loudly at 6am when they are still trying to sleep, they sometimes ignore us in queues and we don’t seem to be offered the same kind of complementary tapas snacks as the locals when buying a drink in their cafes- no crisps; olives nor meaty bites.
Tomorrow I head back to the finish point city, where Pilgrims are still recognised by their tired gait, suspended immobile arms under the weight of the backpack, the compulsory shell dangling from aforementioned pack rattling around much to the annoyance to those nearby and the stick- the walking stick which I abandoned in the last town before climbing on the bus.
I am then transitioning into a ‘regular’ tourist and I head off to the city of Barcelona for a few days. This was not part of my original plan as I thought I would still be walking at this stage. But a Eurorail train ticket and my love for trains has created this different opportunity to visit the city. I will still be hosteling it, unfortunately being peak holiday season, regular hotel prices became extortionately priced when converted to our humble Rands. I have enjoyed this role of Pilgrim yet I am looking forward to being a ‘regular’ once more.
So in the lyrics of Freddie Mercury I leave you with the sound of ‘Barce loooona’. Adios