Quite a good sleep despite the creaking and out of the doors at 7.30am. Everyone's keen to get going as it's a long way to the next albergue for some. I have breakfast with a couple of other pilgrims in the local cafe and then hang around waiting for my phone to charge. Annie, a friend from the UK, is travelling to meet me from Bilbao by bus today so I hunt out the other hostel in the mean time. I get there, ring the bell... nothing. A very nice lady comes out of the dress shop opposite to tell me it's permanently closed and gives me the address of the Isabel Hospedaje. I've heard of it from other pilgrims, so I head off to find it and end up asking a man loading stuff in the back of a lorry. He smiles and answers in English, he is Venezuelan and works for a Christian project helping homeless people. He takes me to his friend Peter, who works in the Centre and we discover that the Isabel is practically next door and opens at 3pm. I ring and reserve two beds... somehow!
Then it's off to the bus station and I ensconce myself in a cafe for my second breakfast, write my blog and wait for Annie. She arrives about 11.30am and then it's time to explore Santander. I try multiple shops to buy Sabon pasta (a bar of soap), we discover the vegetable and fish markets and buy lunch/ breakfast. We then go to the Museo Prehistorica and discover it's somewhere else and we have to go back at 5pm. One of those sort of days!
Our picnic is eaten on a bench on the waterfront where the ferry embarks. A German man sitting next to us on the bench, tells us that he and his friend are the 'back-up' team in the car for their wives who are walking the Camino. Annie and I both think 'wimps'!
At 3pm we book into the Isabel. It's basic but very nice; a small room with a pair of bunks, a tiny balcony and a bathroom down the hall for €15 each. I pay €3 extra to have my washing done which I hope will be dry in time.
Then we're off to the Cathedral to have our Credencials stamped; the selo depicts the decapitated heads of the two local saints. And then finally to the Museo Prehistoria.
The museum is a must if you find yourself in Santander. There are lots of Neolithic remains and cave paintings in the region. The museum is laid out as a sort of history of tool making - starting with chipped riverbed cobbles to exquisite, minute pieces of flint which must have been the equivalent to scalpels? Some beautiful polished axe heads and bone needles that look like modern needles. I'm in awe of the human ability to 'make'; the tools to make the tools. Most of us could not make a single item that facilitate our everyday lives.
There was a spookily amazing series of three pre-Homo sapiens sculls in cases. A video projection gradually fleshed out the bones, so that the faces looked back at you. It was the glint in the eyes that somehow made them 'alive' for a few seconds before they dissolved back into archeology.
We find an Italian Restuarant and I go for a cheese and pasta salad- pretty horrid. I just think calories! Would have been better with pizza- they looked nice.
Back to the Isabel for a good nights sleep.