This morning was interesting… I guess I should start with last night though… Dan and I got back from our supper… Lisa was asleep, and we quietly packed up our things to make a silent escape in the morning…no need to hurry as we were only going 19 k today, with a 250 metre climb and descent…for all you fitbotbfreaks, that was 32,000 steps and 132 floors up and down!!! Anyway, when we got back from dinner we noticed we had 6 new roommates, all still at dinner who had simply left their bags, not put the sheets on their beds, nor done any organizing for the night or the next day! Dan and I went to bed at 9:15 ( hey, when you get up at 5:30, and slog for 27 k up and down mountains, bedtime comes early!!!). Well, at 9:45 the rest of our roommates arrived and continued to zip and unzip, rattle, chat and laugh until Dan said that there were people trying to sleep!!! ( I simply reinstalled my earplugs and went to sleep!). One of the party said they would figure it out shortly!!! ( unfortunately these folks arrived by cab and were starting the Camino here… No idea of etiquette.). Oh well… C’est la vi!
We got up and going around 6:15 and hit the road at 7… As we soon got started we discovered that we would have to do our climb and descent before breakfast!!! Oh Shit!!! Oh well we did what we needed to do… My blisters feeling better, but the funky nerve in my foot acts up every 1 hour or 5 k, which ever comes first (don’t ask, it gets dibilitating!!!) we had a proper send off from the old couple
Then off we went into the cool day. The valley and hillsides here are lush with lots of springs and incredibly rich farmland!
The farms look like they could grow anything!!!
While the top photo path doesn’t look that bad… Try taking it with jelly thighs and a 25 lb pack on you back after you’ve done at 230 meter ascent and descent!!! Can be a little treacherous. But there were times when it also seemed other worldly!
These paths all look relatively clean, but ther were many many that were laced with fresh cow dung, not to mention the spreading of such material on every newly plowed field we passed! Lisa was in heaven though between her cows, calves and even a wild dog was tamed by her smile!
As we take our various breaks, in this case breakfast at 11 ish, we sometimes find walls in the cafes covered with coins… I have to think this is like a wishing well of sorts… One where you leave a wish or a prayer for a Buen Camino…
Another magical thing happened today… Lisa had walked ahead with Gregor and my foot was slowing me down quite a bit…when all of a sudden we spotted this fruit stand with a bench outside. The fruit was gorgeous, and plentiful, and they had croissants with jam and would even make you a tea or coffee. I asked Dan to get a couple of bananas, and the young man said to take what we liked, and what ever we needed… They had a donation basket, but if you couldn’t afford it, no worries. The man ( Aussie) and his partner (Spanish) were setting up an Oasis for travelers that would be like a healing home where you could come in for rest and relaxation from the road… Quite an amazing concept in today’s society!! I was certainly thankful for the respite they provided! And the interesting thing is that Lisa did not see them at all… And they were right there in front of us on the road!!!
We arrived at our hostel at around 12:30, and what an oasis it is. We have a room for the four of us, (Gregor is joining us) and a rose garden, a roof top patio, a room with a huge fireplace where they serve after dinner shots of some sort of Galician liqueur and all for 9€ per person!!! Ok, so it’s shared bathrooms, but still not bad!!!
Sarria is an interesting town. I was worried about arriving here as it is the last place where pilgrims can start and receive their Compostella. This last leg I have heard referred to as the Camino Disney, and I was not looking forward to walking with A) crowds of B) newbies who are fresh, have suffered no blisters, torn ligaments or other such ailments!!! But so far, so good. We’ve met a few newbies who seem quite respectful… I’ll hold my judgement until later posts…
Tonight we are cooking at the Albergue… Time for some home cooking sfter weeks of restaurants ( my goodness, the meals are so plentiful and cheap, you can’t do better dyi with wine… Ok, ok I do buy much better wine!!!)
So today, we heard Cuckoos and roosters yet again (one rooster walked out on the path in front of me and crowed!), didn’t see any poppies, but we’re getting into peony season… Almost as uplifting, and with all the cows, and the litter they leave on the trail, Dan has nicknamed this part of the Camino, “Cowmino”! Btw, this blog has now had 3,500 hits from 10 countries!!! And I thought I was just writing for my kids!!! Also, haven’t told you about our latest acquaintances Russell and Suzanne and 3 sons, one of who is Simon… They are rushing back to Kjngston for June 4 for Simon’s graduation in Mech Eng from Queens… Simon and his dad have walked most of the Camino and his mom and 2 other brothers are traveling from way point to way point via bus and meeting them at the end of the day… We seem to see them appear each day.. Kind of nice!
Our dinner was wonderful! Lisa made a pasta sauce with avacodo and marscapone which was to die for! With a spinach salad and pan roasted asparagus we had more greens in one night than we’ve had in most weeks! Topped off with an incredible bottle of 2008 wine from Spain!