For me, a flight back to Canada was much cheaper out of Madrid than out of Santiago. I wish I remembered what the cost of flying out of Santiago was at the time, so I could confirm whether or not I actually booked the cheapest option. My hotel in Madrid cost me $70CAD. My train ride from Santiago to Madrid cost $113CAD. Therefore, as long as flying home from Madrid was more than $183 cheaper than flying from Santiago, I made the right choice!
So it’s probably a safe guess to say that it’s worth it to fly out of any city other than Santiago if the price difference is greater than $200CAD. Just take some time to do your homework first if you’re concerned about the cost.
If you fly home from Santiago, it’s pretty easy. An airport bus will pick you up from a bus stop in downtown Santiago and take you straight to the airport, which is actually in Lavacolla.
If you are taking a train from Santiago, don’t make the same mistake I did in assuming the train station is at the same place as the bus station where you got dropped off on your way back from Finisterre.
The train station is all the way on the opposite side of town from the bus station.
So I wandered around downtown all morning, then walked all the way across town to the bus station, then got proper directions to the train station from a local, then walked all the way back downtown to where I had started, and finally walked over to the train station. It’s a good thing I had given myself a couple hours longer than I needed, or I definitely would have missed my train!
The entire Camino had basically been one long battle between me and my Camino friends. Their comfort zone for the ideal daily walking distance was in the 27-32km range, mine was in the 22-25km range. This led to many, many debates.
I always lost these debates, but at least they were kind enough to hear me out. And they put up with me when I became a bit of a sore loser.
Not only did I engage them in these “debates” on a daily (or perhaps hourly!) basis, but I was also difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, and I was often cranky from about 1pm-5pm (of course, I was an absolute angel outside of these hours, so they loved me regardless!).
Anyway, while I was wandering around Santiago this morning, I found this t-shirt with an image of a pilgrim struggling to pull a belligerent mule along behind him. I immediately snapped a picture and sent it to our Camino Whatsapp group chat. I told them, “Hey, I found a t-shirt with a picture of me on the Camino with you guys!”
The Camino has a way of bringing out both the best and worst in all of us. What was your Camino experience like? What sides of yourself did you get to meet along the way? Share your stories in the comments section below!
Join me next time for “Day 40: Madrid to Toronto via Dublin”
And remember, my Camino 2015 posts come out every Thursday and Sunday!