Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 28: Calvor - Portomarin (27.6 kms)

Woke up 6:30, ready to go at 8:15. When the last pilgrim at the albergue looked in as we were fixing up before he left, he said with a shake of the head: las primeras y las ultimas. The first and the last.

We reach Sarria at about 9:30 am and have a breakfast of jamon and huevos bocadillo.  Sarria is the starting point for a lot of pilgrims as it is the nearest place to Santiago de Compostela where one can start (100 kms away)  and still be able to get the Compostela certificate.  In Sarria, we meet 4 Irishmen posing at the top of a hill and stop to take their photo then ask them to take ours. A little outside of Sarria,  we pass the official marker saying we have only 100 more kilometers to go!

We stop for lunch at Morgade from 2 to 2:40 pm. My sister and I usually just share a pilgrim meal for lunch so as not to feel so full for the afternoon part of our walk. We have caldo gallego, fried pork and for dessert, a cuajada -- made of something between milk and cheese plus honey on top. Yummy.  Another stop at Mercaraido for coffee. Really nice-looking place.

From here, we reach Portomarin at 5:30 pm.  The approach to the city is a downhill through green farmlands, then you spot a river then cross the bridge to the city. We get the last double room at Albergue Ultreia. Very nice. For dinner at Bar Perez, an ensalada mixta, pulpo (octopus) with potatoes, cerveza and a cafe con leche, for me. 

As I walk the Camino, I think of all the people I have met and will still meet.  I think that it is easy to be true to one's self here, devoid of all the trappings that come with living in society.  One does not make any judgments based on the clothes you wear, the cars you have, the work you do. Everyone accepts each other as a pilgrim, with the goal of reaching Santiago de Compostela. We walk with each other, help each other along the way, laugh with each other to ease the difficulties.  You make do with the most basic necessities-- that which can fit in your backpack that you carry the whole way. And you realize that you do not need more, and that if you only have what you really need, then your load will be that much lighter, and the Way that much easier.

Vending machine with Camino map -- practical!

Sarria overlook

Jolly Irishmen at Sarria

Only 100 kms more to go!

First view of Portomarin bridge


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