Santander turned out to be an incredible city with lots to see and do. Considering my sister and I have about a week worth of extra time to finish the Camino, we decided we wanted to spend another night there. Norah and her mother were already planning on staying another night because they were flying out of the Santander airport in the morning. Since it was Friday, we convinced the boys to stay another night so that we could go clubbing and rent an AirBnB to avoid curfew.
We were kicked out of the hostel at 8:00am for cleaning, however nothing in town was open until 9:00am. We waited outside a cute pink-pastry shop to have breakfast and coffee when they opened. Tiny cappuccinos and tarts have pretty much been the only thing we’ve eaten for breakfast since arriving in Spain. We talked about how much we missed the typical salty American breakfast. I’d do anything for some katchup smothered hash-browns and eggs Benedict.
As it started to rain, we walked the girls to their hotel, which they splurged on for their last night. We were hoping we could leave our packs in storage while we moseyed around all day, but guest-services wouldn’t allow it. We were forced to leave the lobby in the pouring rain, so we put on our ponchos and decided to make the best of it. Aria, Robert and I took a long rainy walk to a castle that sat on a stretch of land far away from the city. The castle was named Magdalena, which was also the name of my great-grandmother, whom I was named after.
The home owner of the AirBnB declined our reservation for some reason, but it was too rainy and late to leave Santander by foot. Since there was no chance of sun, Robert decided to bus to the next coastal city. Apparently, the road we’ll be walking for the next two days is all along highways and industrial campuses. I’ve been feeling some anxiety about all our friends leaving us. On the Camino, you meet some really cool people, spend a solid 24-hour period with them, and then they leave and you will never see them again.
You’re not allowed to stay in Albergues more than once in each town. Since they’re funded by the government and donation, they are designated for pilgrims and not for pleasure. The next cheapest option was the pension San Miguel. Reviews said we risked getting bed-bugs, but we decided that the 5-euros we would save was worth chancing it. The place was quite disgusting and highly overpriced. However, we found a cabinet in the entry-way that contained left-over bottles of alcohol, so the steep price ended up being worth it.
We met Norah, Francie and Antwon for drinks in a square by our pension. The five of us thoroughly enjoyed our mint mojitos and complimentary olive platter. On our search for a place to eat dinner, the sound of many people laughing caught our attention. The sound drew us to a pizza place that was populated by many local foodies. We ordered an amazing arugula salad and three different pizzas which we all sampled from. With red wine to compliment the palette, the meal was absolutely perfect.
The four kiddos were supposed to go clubbing, but we found out that none of the discoteks opened until 3:00am. A local told us about a famous street in Santander that was known for its bar-scene. We scoped out this street only to find hundreds of underage teens drinking out of paper bags on the sidewalk. None of us felt right with this crowd, so we headed back toward the hotel in hopes of finding a chill bar. A man was handing out free drink tickets on a street corner, so we couldn’t refuse. After more mojitos, a small man kept following us around, winking, licking his lips, whistling abruptly, and throwing his hand out for us to dance with him. He was half my height at most, but somehow was quite arrogant. We finally ditched the creepy little dude and the four of us danced the night away to the all-American music they played.