Triacastela to Sarria - 18.7 km

June 10
Lat: 42.775556 Lon: -7.4125

I got up at the usual time of 6 a.m. and got everything packed. Because they offered a full breakfast with lodging, I stayed to have it. The other reason is that today was going to be a short day and that I'd finish up by noon without a strain. I left at 7:45 a.m. and took the option route that was the recommended route up to San Xil and it proved to be a good way as it was just about completely off the roads and through the woods. I really enjoy these paths. They are great when you're alone and it gives you time to quietly think.

There was a nice climb this morning up to a 910 meter summit (I wouldn't call it a mountain, just a nice hill), and it got the blood flowing and the breathing right. After that it was pretty much smooth sailing and I got to the little village of Furela for a cup of tea and a slice of cinnamon cake. The place was packed with Peregrinos and it took me almost 20 minutes to get my order. What a lot of people don't understand is that these little bar/cafes are run by one person and they will be tending to as many as five or six people at a time as well as cooking, making coffee (which is made one cup at a time), and taking payments and making change. I don't know how they do it.

After taking a long break, I pushed on back into the woods after a short back-country, road walk. This reminds me of the trails that I'm used to back home and it's nice. It seemed like no time I was on the outskirts of Sarria so I had to start keeping my eyes open for the way to go. Sarria is the first town that you're required to start getting two stamps a day on your “Credencial” to prove that you walked the last 100 km of the trail to Santiago. Without this you won't be allowed to get the completion certificate in Santiago. I was told by the man at the church that what I needed to do is get a stamp during the day while I'm walking, preferably at a church that I pass and then at the end of the day at the place I'm staying. This pretty much proves you're on the trail. At this point, I've only got five more days to Santiago and I'll be finished. But I'm going to take a day off in Santiago and then head out of town on the Camino Finisterre Trail, go to Muxia and then on up to Finisterre to the ocean. If I have enough time left, then I'm going to walk back to Santiago. At this point, I’ve walked 682.2 km.

I finally found the Oca Villa Hotel and got checked in and cleaned up. Two things that I like are getting on the trail early to see the sun rise and getting to my finishing point early and getting cleaned up. Some people suggest that if you go so fast that you will miss stuff, but the truth is, I see more because I can wander around the town and go in all the shops and buildings and see everything at my pace and not have to carry my pack. I tend to think they miss out on not only the sights, but the culture, which is something that I've comes to enjoy more than anything.

I'm still working on Spanish the best that I can, learning new vocabulary, and putting myself out there trying to make conversation with the people. It's kind of funny when I mess up badly and they smile and nod their head or just correct me. Anyway I'm having a good time with that.

Well, I'm in my room, preparing for a longer day tomorrow and the possibility of rain so I'll let you know how that turns out tomorrow. There is more to follow so as always... Buen Camino!

Spain Blog 2013

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