Parador de Los Reyes Catolicos** (718€ for three nights)
Whoo, Whoo!! Breakfast at 7:30 AM, then out at 8:10 for 18 not-easy kilometers to Santiago. Thankfully, no rain but chilly. Very hilly with two big climbs and, of course, their accompanying downs. Two stops for C&CC and then down into Santiago… and through Santiago … aaaaannnnnddddd ttthhhrrrooouuuggghhh Santiago… What a slog! No question, we’re a bit beat up! Finally we round a corner and thar ‘tis!!! Amazing!!! Beautiful and different from the other cathedrals we’ve seen, weathered, stately, elaborate, grand… and there comes to mind, the Emerald City palace at the end of the Yellow Brick Road. Nick sets up his tripod and we take a “We’re there!” picture on the cathedral’s steps. It is a match to the “We’re starting!” one back in Le Puy-en-Valey, so long ago. We have a well-deserved hamburger, the first on this trip, and are blindsided by a pushy waitress who orders way too much food for us, including toppings of bacon and fried eggs instead of lettuce and tomatoes. We check in at the Parador and are escorted to a lovely room all decked out for the handicapped… but beautiful. B+N!!! Up at 7:30 for drinks in the bar, and a stroll through the cathedral’s plaza. Then back to our room, skipping dinner. No wi-fi, though it is available elsewhere in the Parador… Oh well. Night-night at the end of a long and rewarding day. We’ve done it! Nick calculates we’ve taken 5,000,000 steps each… LORDY ME, JEEZEL-BEEZEL!!!