Triacastela to Sarria (pop: 13 500)
April 28, 2015
8:30 AM to 1:40 PM
5 hrs 10 min for 19.32 km
Well, this is bizarre. We arrived on Rua Major ( the Main Street) in Sarria and discovered a tall locked white door with a sign showing we were at Studio Calle Mayor. I phoned the number on the sign and was directed to the bar two doors down where I was given a key, no questions asked.
We are now in a loft studio that has stone walls and huge wooden beamed ceiling. There is a double bed on one side of the upper floor and four singles on the other side. We will be able to put a sign on the Camino outside our door and rent the extra beds. Downstairs there is a bath with large shower but it takes two to enjoy it…one has to hold the nozzle. There is a kitchenette and four drying lines in the enclosed garage out back. There is a bar with a beer tap but Brian has not figured out how to work that. There is a bottle of scotch in the fridge. The lower floor is too cold to enjoy sitting there. Rummy will be upstairs.
WIFI does not work until May but if we stand on the balcony or in the street we can have Sarria’s free WIFI. To get a stamp for our Camino passport we can go to any bar. We already have a stamp from Meson O Tapas and a sports clothing store where Margaret bought more socks. A pair disappeared in yesterday’s laundry.
We have tried the famous Galician steamed octopus. I like it. Margaret declared it too chewy and preferred the accompanying fresh bread.
We ordered our pilgrim menu. Yeah for Ensalada Mixta. Oh, oh, no olives today.
We just finished week four of walking. Hard to believe. Less than a week of walking left.
Today was fabulous. A lot of you must have been praying for us after yesterday’s deluge. The birds awakened us with cheerful song and rosy clouds and blue sky greeted us when we opened our eyes.
We only walked 19 km today. I said that was hardly worth getting up for, but the springs in our bed were poking me to get up. Brian said that whether he walked nineteen or twenty-nine kilometres, his legs were still weary. Margaret says she is ‘road weary’.
We did a lot of uphill followed by a lot of downhill this morning. We went from 680 metres to 905 metres in the first five kilometres. We are down to 440 metres in Sarria. The clouds were below us. We had sunny views of green pastures surrounded by rock walls. It is said that Galicia is much like Ireland. I concur: very green hills and plenty of rock walls sometimes bare, often covered in vines, moss, or ferns with many different tiny jewels of flowers sprouting out of the cracks.
We are sure there were beautiful views yesterday if they had not been obliterated by rain.
There are many more cows in Galicia and individual farms where the milk truck comes to empty the milk cans. Lots more pasture but not much crop land.
Much of today we walked on a path through deep rock cuts or with slab rock walls higher than our heads. Beautiful trails everywhere. We felt the cool shade then the warmth of the sun on our backs. We are developing the Camino tan, our left side more tanned than our right from always walking westward.
Here in Sarria, as in many towns, there is a lot of restoration and beautification happening. A Jesuit church had a beehive of activity all around it, and much needed as the roof looked as if it were caving in. The nearby thirteenth century castle has fence around it to prevent people being injured by falling stones.
Santa Marina Church has quite a different interior, a carved wooden altar, rather than gold. Many of the statues looked very ‘natural’, very welcoming. One was Saint Isidor Labrador, patron saint of farmers. He had a pair of cows with him. One of the churches we saw yesterday had a statue of a full-sized donkey. We do not often see animal carvings in churches.
A note on washrooms: Spain is very energy conscious. Most toilets are dual flush and almost every washroom has lights which automatically go off two seconds after you sit down. It is important to note where the light switch is as soon as you enter the washroom, then hope that you can reach the switch from the toilet. I have never found waving my arms to be successful.