Step By Step: Days Three, Four and Five

Day Three, Friday, was hard, hard, hard. 21 miles up and over two mountains. The first part of the day was about 6 miles, much of it uphill, to a quaint hamlet.  Then 3 hours later, ascended a higher peak. At the end, we had walked 21 miles, ending the segment in Triacastela.

Day Four’s walk also started in darkness — a misty hike to Samos, home of a Benedictine Monastery established in the 6th century. It’s beyond beautiful, yet today, only eight monks and two novices live in this vast religious palace. Hard to square the two. 

Then 3.5 hours of walking to Sarria, big town, prospering with the pilgrim trade. Most pilgrims start their pilgrimage there. It’s the last municipality before the last 100 km. into Santiago. A pilgrim can receive a certificate of completion only if he or she has walked at least the final 100 km. to Santiago. We are surrounded by pilgrims now.  Many languages, very cool. (Today’s thought: Did Jesus ever imagine this many people from all around the world would be walking for hundreds of miles on a spiritual journey? Could he conceive that his band of followers would turn into this?) I think that in 2017 the Cathedral in Santiago will issue more than 200,000 pilgrims’ certificates — maybe a lot more.

Hotels were Casa David in Triacastela, Hotel Alfonso IX in Sarria, and Pousada Portomarin tonight in the town of the same name.

Today, Sunday, was 16 miles, and another strenuous climb. The Way was so full of people, never any stretches of time alone. Friendly people, crowded cafes and bars. It’s an amazing experience.

I’m exhausted, I know you would like photos, but Internet in Northern Spain is SPOTTY.

Small world department: Met two sisters today, Virginia residents, who are cousins of Jack Hazel, a Sewanee classmate. That, too, was an amazing coincidence. All very cool.

We’ve met people along The Way from France, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Slovakia, Ireland, Germany,* Mexico, Asia — South Korea, I’m assuming, and plenty from the US.

*One German woman started her pilgrimage from that country.  Now that’s a long walk.

Will try to post some photos tomorrow. I can barely stay awake.

Long Day, Long Trek

It was an arduous 21-mile hike today on Day 4 of our Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.  We walked from Las Herrerias to Triacastela, uphill mostly for the first three hours, pretty steep.  More uphill later in the day, then flat along a mountain ridge, stunning scenery the entire time.  Steep downhill the last few hours. 

We are in Spain’s Galicia region now.

Just too tired to say more.  See you tomorrow.

Day 2 Photos

Almost time for dinner. Here are a few more pics.The last photo is our hotel in Las Herrerias, all lodgings have been 2 thumbs up. This is the best so far.

Hoping you too will embark on travels that will enlighten and inform.

Photos. Few Words

Restaurant opens in 45 minutes, so here are some photos from Days 1 and 2. Can captions be done in _ordpress? (The “double u” key on the Belkin keyboard has a mind of its o_n, so you may have to figure the _ord out yourself.)

Day 1

First pilgrims we saw.

As the day went on:Jackie O:Morning pilgrims:Spain: Pilgrims on horseback:Day 2:

A Pilgrim’s Progress

We are in Las Herrerias, at the foot of an 8 km. uphill trek, which we will tackle tomorrow. It’s been gorgeous today. (Am going to work on this for another 20 minutes, then publish it, and then return to the daily pilgrimage report in a bit.

At breakfast we sat with four Canadians; one has already completed two Caminos, two are joining him for the first time, and one is riding from stop to stop on the luggage van or a local bus (€1.25 a ticket!). Don, the third-time pilgrim, had the best advice so far. Rather than a 28 km. walk today, do it tomorrow, so that the tough mountain climb takes place first thing in the morning. Our legs will be fresh, and it will be the coolest part of the day. Sold. Thank you, Don from Ontario.

As a result, we arrived at our hotel at 1 pm. Relaxation.

Update: Luggage is here; Debbie absolutely overjoyed to put on her favorite outdoor shoes and a hiking skort. Me, I’m delighted to change out of my hiking pants — after 5 days they are pretty ripe.

Mountains all around us, the uphill journey tomorrow we hope will give us strength for our inner challenges.

More soon.