Monday, November 9 – Day 59
I did not like the place I stayed at last night, at all. The people were not friendly, or nice. You could tell it was just a business for them, but I really didn’t want to walk another 6k down the mountain.
The bed was hard, but not as hard as the hotel a few days ago. I will just have to accept that any soft beds I encounter are an anomaly. She said breakfast started at 8, but I planned to be gone before then. Not quite as early as I had hoped, but I was out the door by 7:45.
I got to see a beautiful sunrise as I headed down the mountain.
It took me an hour and a half to go that 6k to get to Tricastela, and that was on “fresh” feet. I don’t want to know how long it would have taken me last night.
I stopped at a bar and had a colacao and the biggest tortilla ever. It was about the size of 3 normal servings. Well, maybe just two. It was huge.
At the end of town the camino split into two options. Go the longer, flatter, way to Samos, or go the more mountainous, shorter way, more direct to Sarria. Under different circumstances I think Samos would be fabulous to see. It’s an active monastery, but they don’t have heating. If it had been earlier in my camino I definitely would have gone, but at this point I just want to get to Santiago. I don’t feel like prolonging anything.
It wasn’t as steep as the climb up to O Cebreiro, but for the 3rd day in a row of up and down in the mountains, I was pretty tired.
It was beautiful, though.
I was feeling like I was still so far away, when I saw a sign that said Sarria was only 8k. Sarria is a big milestone. It’s the traditional starting point for the pilgrims who want to walk just far enough to get the compostela, which is 100k. Sarria is 111k from Santiago, and big enough to have a train station. From here on out I need to remember to get 2 stamps per day. This is to help ensure that people actually walk the camino.
I got into Sarria and looked for a place to eat. The problem is I didn’t want to accidentally pass them all up, like I did in Ponferrada. I stopped in a modern little cafe and got a combo plate with calamari rings.
Right before I got to the bar I suddenly wondered if I was developing a blister on my toe. Sure enough, it’s day 59, and I got a blister on the little piggy that had none. Neither of us are happy about that.
Luckily I was only planning on going about another 4k. Hopefully the rest will help it.
You have to climb out of Sarria and go up a hill, then go down the other side. As I was climbing up the hill, it was through an old pilgrim street with lots of shops, and at one of the cafe’s I saw Sue. I had met Sue at the dinner in Burgos. Her name isn’t actually Sue, but that’s what someone called her because she’s Russian and her real name is hard to pronounce and remember. At dinner we had played the game, “I can kind of read russian, so write something down for me to say.” Everyone else thought it was weird that I could read it but didn’t know what I was saying. It’s just like any other language, though. You can pronounce words in Spanish and not know what you’re saying. Anyway, Sue was so impressed that when she saw me today she wanted to take a video of me reading “I’m a great girl,” in Russian. I said it much better when the camera wasn’t on me. I had her write her name down so I would know how to pronounce it and therefore remember it. It starts with a K, but I have no idea how to write it in English.
She was walking today with Jeffrey from Paris. They were planning on going another 12k.
I got to one of the places where I was thinking about staying. It’s 25 E for a single, and they have a washer and dryer for 3 E each. I was sold. Unfortunately, they don’t have dinner here in the off season. She said I have to walk, and it might be kind of far. It’s 20 minutes before dinner, and she hasn’t brought my laundry back yet. Do I go to dinner in my pajamas? I will wait a few more minutes.
I went to dinner in my pajamas, and it could have been 800m like the sign said. It took 10 minutes to get there. So much for stopping a bit earlier to rest my blister. I also had to find my way in the dark. After I left, I thought briefly about going back for a light, but I decided not to. It was kind of fun, trying to find my way in the dark to a place I’d never been.
When I walked in, I saw Nicolo at one of the tables! He was eating with Celsu (Idk if that’s howhe spells it), from Brazil who is apparently a face surgeon. They were on their first course, so I joined them. I remembered to take a picture this time.
I had the salad and meatballs, and cheesecake. The cheesecake was actually the closest I’ve had so far. It still had some flan like properties, but I ate those bits first. For a Spanish cheesecake I’d say it was pretty good. Or it was the best flan I’ve ever had.
After dinner I mentioned that I had to walk 800m back to my place in the dark, and Nicolo said he still had my headlamp! We laughed about that for a few minutes. How funny is that? He said he kept it because it might come in handy. I didn’t use it, though. I couldn’t bring myself to take it back after all of that, and I was curious to see what it would be like walking back in the pitch black.
I was still able to see the road, and I was able to see the large piles of poop, but I’m sure I stepped in more than I normally would have. I made it back just fine. The headlamp thing is hilarious, though.