Thursday, September 23, 2010

Galicia Rocks!

Final thoughts from Triacastela, population 900. . .

I keep forgetting to mention Jean Claude, an old guy from France who can really walk fast. A really good guy who speaks no English but just continues to talk to me in French every day, we seem to communicate some how.

After a light dinner for once, I had a great night's sleep!

Triacastela to Sarria
25.0 km/15.5 miles
Time Walked, 6:38

Total Distance Walked, 680.4 km/422.8 miles
Total Time Walked, 164:51
28 Nights in Albergues, 162 Euros

Distance to Santiago de Compostela
118.2 km/73.4 miles

At 7:08 a.m., a small contingent of Team North America left the albergue for the stroll through the Galician countryside. Trine and Jaime are still battling illness and decide to take the taxi to our next stop, Sarria, population 13,000. Greg, Kim and Ruth stayed a different albergue, so we didn't know when they were leaving. Thus Julie, Jillian and I embarked with a big decision to make.

At Triacastela, the Camino offers two options, Route 1 is the long one while Route 2 is a 6.5 km shortcut. After much discussion in the wee hours of the Galician morning, we reached a unanimous decision. It would be the long route for our brave group today!

Our courageous decision was rewarded with glorious Galician landscapes full of cows, horses, dogs, cats, sheep and goats. We were enlightened by streams teeming with fish and treated to pathways canopied by trees beginning to drop their autumn leaves. It was, in a word, INCREDIBLE!

Also at about the halfway point, in the town of Samos, we had not one but two great experiences. First we caught sight of their excellent Benedictine monastery, one of the oldest in Spain. Then we enjoyed one of the best Cafe con Leches on all of the Camino, life is oh so good!

As we continued our journey, there were lots of yellow arrows to guide us but no clam shell signs, the Camino's icon. We had been warned that in this area is it easy to get lost/sidetracked by one of the local walking paths known as Senderismos. We finally found a sign with several cities posted on it but none of them were on our maps. We trudged on until we reached the hamlet of Sivil, population two.

Suddenly the entire town's population was walking towards us armed with an axe and a sickle, we might be in deep trouble. Instead, this great couple, she sported the axe, informed us that we were still on the Camino and that Sarria was only about 90 minutes away!

Angels are everywhere on the Camino!!!

Lately it seems that when I walk with the girls, the first 12 km or so are filled with random chit chat and moments of enlightened insights. After that it is all about what we miss from home, mostly the food choices. Today for me it was Bobbi's Mexican Restaurant's large quesadilla dripping with butter. DAMN!!!

We found a good albergue and all of Team North America is now in residence at the Albergue Los Blasones. After the usual shower, laundry, Cafe con Leche, croqueta and caña routine, I did a little sightseeing of this nice city

It is hard for me to believe that I just finished my fourth week of walking the Camino. I've covered 422.8 miles, probably three times the distance I've walked in the last 40 years combined! We only have five more days until we reach Santiago de Compostela. What were the odds in Vegas?

Vamos Bien y con Animos!



itzbfitz said...

Very nice. "You took the long way home." Supertramp would be proud! Koreen and I had dinner with Laurie at Cronies last night (mmmm, bacon quesadillas), and it got me thinking about your return. My suggestion is that we meet you at the airport, pick up your luggage, and send you off walking towards home. My personal preference would be the Pacific Coast Highway route--a little longer than the 101 Freeway, but far more scenic. I have broken the trip down into two days, and you could spend the night at the albergue Four Seasons in Malibu--only 240 euros! If this is too pricey, there is always the less expensive albergue Scientology Retreat in the Santa Monica mountains. We will plan to meet you the following day at the Camarillo Premium Outlets (final resting place of many a saintly husband's paycheck)to purchase an appropriate wardrobe for you newly svelte physique. Whaddaya think?

Ryan Bolland said...

That is awesome (the comment, not the 400 miles thing or the countryside or any of that stuff).

George said...