At the top of the climb I looked back and the sun was making a brief appearance.
It popped in and out for a while. Things were looking surprisingly good to the west and I hoped it would hold as I understand there is a major storm on its way.
I connected with a herd and had to take some photos. Look at the horns and catch the lady who is very close to giving birth. She’s huge!
Then there were the horses who wanted their noses scratched. Yup, we provide most services on Camino!
Then a gate shot for Neil with some quite dry and wind shaken corn stocks.
Sarria came into view, but it’s still some two hours away. I always find it interesting just how long it takes to walk into a village or city when you first see it from a distance.
I did eventually arrive in Sarria and passed through quickly. The morning peregrino departures had mostly happened and I was to come across quite a few as the day progressed. Some really hurting on their first day out. This is looking back at Camino Road (not its real name) where you pretty much only find businesses that cater to the tens of thousands who pass through here or start from here each year.
Looking back towards the mountains and to the south as I proceeded there was clearly rain around and I seemed to be walking in a bit of a bubble as I ambled down the typically beautiful Galician countryside. It really is beautiful here.
There is a solid climb out of Sarria just to let those new to the Camino know that they aren’t going to be pampered too much.
The wind came up sharply as I moved along and I wondered how long I was going to avoid the rain.
I remembered this place from last time and decided to take a self portrait here.
The beautiful setting just continued to unfold. You wouldn’t even need to paint a gate like this. I’m thinking of getting us one.
I finally found a place to get lunch about 33 kms into the day. I went inside to find it full of the Sarria stage walkers. I’d caught up to many of them and central in the group was my Venezuelan friend who took a bus from Triacastela and walked from Sarria today. She has a limited time and hopes that she can still get her compostela even if she doesn’t walk all of the last 100 kms. Not sure if this is possible, but I guess she can try. Lunch plus two tins of Aquarius plus two Kit Kat bars for later, $12.
Then I arrived at the 100 km waypoint. Amazingly 1400 behind me and just 100 (now 94) left. Happy day!!
It had been raining steadily since lunch and the wind had picked up making for nice fall walking. Yup, my favourite.
I’d booked an albergue on line and when I arrived I found it closed for the season. I tried phoning them twice, but no answer. It’s a pretty remote albergue and I figured that the best thing I could do was to walk on the six kilometres to Portomarin and find lodgings when I arrived. Sometimes stuff happens and all you can do is shrug and move on. By now it was pouring...of course. I reached the bridges to Portomarin and while the river was high, the reservoir was clearly empty. Great view of the newer bridge and the ancient Roman bridge. The whole Roman and medieval settlement was moved before the valley was damed and flooded.
The first time I arrived expecting the reservoir to be full just like it was on my map. But it was all gone as it is in the above photo. I had to walk down the middle of the bridge because of the height. This time? Only I was there to tell the tale!
“Nobody Walks Alone”: In following Geoff’s journey since I left two weeks ago, it’s clear that it is more difficult to walk alone than to walk with a partner. While Geoff has always enjoyed walking on his own, there are extra challenges in doing so. It’s easier to miss a turn, there are more risks should an injury occur, and of course there are the challenges of loneliness and isolation. He has, of course, been communicating with friends and family and has met people along the way, and these encounters have often been uplifting. The B.C. Alzheimer’s Society’s new mission statement “Nobody Walks Alone”, recognizes that dementia is a difficult journey, and walking it alone, without a support, is especially difficult. Information, education, support groups, research and outreach can all make a big difference.