Ha! Ha! Ha! Just look at those steps. We went up a serious set of steps into Sarria. We went further up to leave Sarria then we went down steeply away from the Monasterio de la Magdalena and its huge walled cemetery. More up than down was the order of the day. We just crossed a very long bridge over the River Mino that leads to a reservoir. At this end of the bridge was a set of steep stone steps to lead us through an arch to Portomarin.
As we started up the steps, we saw Susie coming down. She was looking for the last Camino directional arrow. Kanji was up top and they had wandered around looking for the way out of town. We puffed up the steps, gave them hugs and pointed them out in the direction of Hospital, 11 km further, where they will stay tonight. The next time we see them will probably be in Ontario. They plan on walking to Finisterra then back to Santiago before flying home. They have a week more than us.
We had booked a place in Portomarin last night but it is further up the hill and on the wrong side of town for tomorrow’s departure; so, we walked into two places close to the trail before finding two rooms at a lower price but with two shared baths for four rooms. At the Gonzar everything looks fresh, bright and clean so we took these rooms rather than walk further. Bonus: Brian is happy we have a “waterview”, albeit a small one.
We just had a sumptuous feast at O’Mirador. Awesome! Good vegetable stew; pasta salad for Brian. Fabulous lasagna; yummy veal stew for Brian. I had a very fresh fruit salad, not from a no-name brand can! Margaret is on her third sampling of Santiago cake and each one has been better than the previous. Brian is especially happy to have some brown beer, the best he has had in Spain, crafted right here. Highly recommend this restaurant.
Today we saw lots of dairy farms with very old stone buildings. Plenty of cows had preceded us on the first several kilometres, leaving slurries of their presence.
Sarria is the beginning point for many pilgrims who want their Compostela certificate. Ten kilometres after Sarria is the 100 kilometre marker to Santiago; and that is where the majority of walkers begin. Certainly there were more walkers on the trail today. We told Brian he is supposed to be charitable but he wanted to tell the newbies to get out of the way and go start in St. Jean. 🙂 there is a discussion online that shows a division between those who say “Leave well enough alone. Be godlike.” And those who would like to see people get certificates that show how many kilometres they actually did.
The water flowed fast in places but instead of walking in water and mud, there were cobblestone or concrete sluice ways running beside the path to divert the water.
Mostly sunny today but we walked under shady trees so it felt cooler. Summer pilgrims will be delighted with this shade. The overwhelming perfume of wisteria spills from gateways and door fronts although these flowers will soon be finished. At least one clump of calla lilies graces the front of most gardens of any size.
Brian chatted with an ostrich and almost got a big wet kiss from a cow hanging over a fence.
Brian says he is going for a nap but Margaret and I will check out the large rose window in the church.
A hawk has been swooping and soaring above the reservoir as we dined.