Day 35 – Sarria – Part II, Let the race begin!

To get the “Camino Diploma” you can start at Sarria and then do 100 km to Santiago. And many do!

The whole city is like a hot, boiling kettle where everyone one is keen on starting or finalising their Camino. There are a lot of groups from different schools – so we absolutely not be alone anymore!

There is also a special pilgrim office focusing on this final lap providing all information needed.

Let’s see, but I’m quite sure that this part of the Camino will be unique in its way…,

Day 35 – Sarria – Stinging Nettles

Today’s walk from Triacastela to Sarria can be done in many ways, there are at least three alternatives. Two of them include the famous monastery of Samos and who wouldn’t like to see that? It’s just six km extra walking…

To see the Monastery from inside you have to take a guided tour only given in Spanish. That’s quite ok if you gonna see some action!

Of course we didn’t expect to see monks monkey around for money, but it was quite far from what we expected and not about a life in a monastery. However we behaved good and studied all the detailed pictures showing the last years renovation and tried to look deeply interested.

To see the monastery we had to pay with two extra hours of walking. And that went quite fine walking a bit unfamiliar roads until we met this guy …

I think he tries to figure out what the heck we are doing there … and so did we! To get back on trail I decided to do a special, very short shortcut through the forest, along a kind of road that only existed on the map but not longer in reality. And if you wonder what’s the benefit of having a more traditional pilgrim outfit like below compared to modern shorts, I can absolutely give you one. Stinging Nettles or should I say massively, strong, wild, beastly crazy Stinging Nettles!

The good part with shorts is that you get something that last for many hours, it lasts even after a good shower and it’s absolutely free!

Day 34 – Tríacastela – Getting ready for the 100 km final lap

Liñares could certainly be a wonderful view if it hadn’t been for the fog and complete darkness, but the sign looks very promising. So, here is the astounding view of San Roque.

… instead of enjoying the view we walked up the mountain, then down and up again. There must be some one out there, wanting the pilgrims to be very extra fit when they reach the end destination and therefore avoid any straight roads. As complement to the fog it started to rain, so for the first time it was poncho time. And pilgrims get the special Quasimodo look making them easy to differ from the normal people.

Tomorrow, we reach (hopefully) Sarria, it is the entry point for many pilgrims doing the short version of the Camino. And the number is increasing and the skill decreasing. Meet a guy bicycling and in these slippery, steep downhill parts you need to be an experienced cyclist – he was not! I could even feel the pain by myself as he was sliding off his bike in different hurtful ways. Ouch!

Galicia is a new and different experience for us. I’m getting the feeling that Asterix or Obelix could be coming out running after some Roman officer … just any minute!

And yes, I like the milestones. Now we know exactly how many meters left – that’s very motivating!

Day 33 – Linares – A Foggy Day

Today we made the famous climbing up to O Cebreiro. It started out well with a black out at the hostel – so lamp lights on, even to get up from the bed. And it was dark and upwards walking, however quite much road walking. So in the end it was not that bad, we have done much worse!

Due to weather the view was a bit limited, but it should be great!

How about getting all the answers to the important questions in life while walking? Well, to be honest the questions are more where to stop, which way to choose, what’s that stone about and what to eat? It’s quite a peaceful life, we do what we are supposed to do (walk) and when that’s over it’s just to relax! Nothing to think about actually….

Day 32 – Vega de Valcarce – Awaiting the humps

Today has been a long walk on asphalt and my knees and legs absolutely hate that, and they are not late to tell that! Ouch! And tomorrow is the big vertical clump up to O Cebrerio! Let’s see how that will work!

The thing to see here in Vega is the castle, just an hour walk from the city. Will I do that? No! I’m just staying in bed trying to calm my feet down!

So besides walking I have been looking at a lot of potential renovation project. We have a couple things we need to do back home to our house in Sweden. But looking at the things you need to do here, the things at home is absolutely minor ones. So, where to start with a house like this one? Or should you keep it shabby chic – you could always use your poncho if it should start to rain!

I have told about my little evil morning activities? Well, this is how you do it! When walking in the dark you may think that everyone is sleeping … but you can’t be more wrong about that! There are plenty of dogs that people have in their gardens, balconies or wherever they can stuff them in. And the dogs can hear you! The first time I got shit scared when a dog suddenly start to bark loudly close to me. But now I just need to slightly turn towards them showing some light. And if I’m lucky, that makes most of them completely mad, barking like h..ll! And then the next door dog wakes up and starts to bark and then the next and the next. Hi hi! It’s so funny!! I call it “morning prelude in C Major for badly tempered dogs!” – concerts given mornings around five!