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Published: October 17th 2018
Today has had a surprise ending.
I’m in Samos, comfortably held up in a hostel, after walking 31.8 kms.
This begun last night. I was having dinner with a couple of friends who said they were going to Samos instead of stopping at the traditional stage end, Triacastela.
I considered it, put it into the maybe box, and then went back to the Albergue.
That’s when decisions were made.
On and off for weeks, I’ve encountered a NZ woman. She seems a little unusual and is either up, or has a problem of some sort. She often asks me where I’m staying, and then appears there the next day. There’s nothing untoward here; she’s just asking someone who has done it before.
Last night, my dinner companions wanted to leave a window open to let in some fresh air during the night, but this was frowned upon by NZ, so they let it go.
Lights were turned out and sleep came easy after a big day. At a little after 11pm, I was blasted awake by someone yelling at someone else, to silence their phone. I didn’t hear the phone until I woke, as
Cattle In Liñares
I wasn’t the only one up early today.
it was only a low beeping noise.
I certainly heard it after the announcement. A few minutes later and it beeped again. This time the tirade was a little longer, and ironically included the statement, “People here are trying to sleep.”
Correct. And the only thing stopping the people sleeping was NZ yelling. In the morning , a couple of people were a bit shocked, while one girl who was reading on her phone, was frightened as to what happens next.
NZ is staying in my Albergue in Triacastela, or that triangular place as she called it.
I’m walking to Samos.
I set off alone in the dark at 7.15am and enjoyed the mild weather and the soft gravel track that led to Liñares, a small rural hamlet just before you climb the first of many hills for the day. The track had dew covered silver plants along each side that appeared to be illuminated by my light. I had ‘ runway lights’ as l walked in the dark. Dropping off the edge along this track would be a poor start to the day. Luckily my memory of this section was good, as my head
light was dimming and signs were difficult to see.
You didn’t need lights in Liñares to know what activity kept this place going. The fruity odour of cow dung pervaded the air, and this was a consistent theme for the day. I actually don’t mind it and see it as another aspect of rural life that’s there to enjoy.
Breakfast was at Hospital de la Condesa where I met up with folk I hadn’t seen for days. Darryl the Pommie has had similar experiences with NZ, and when she bounced in, happy as can be, we said Hi and went walking.
The weather was sunny today and the predicted rain held off until evening came. Hopefully it’s just an overnight shower.
Much of the walking today was along a mountain ridge, just above a road. The views were stunning and the dense forests on my left will be a blaze of colour in a week or so.
The descent into Triacastela was very steep and I crisscrossed some of the paths to reduce the impact on my feet. At Biduedo, a black Mercedes van dropped off 6 very enthusiastic American women who were on their
Camino. They walked 3.2kms to X-Cruce, amazed and blown away by everything in their path, then jumped back in the waiting van to pursue their next stage.
Now I’m not being judgmental here, well, I am a little, but after lugging a heavy backpack up and down mountains for 28 days, I’m not interested in people with enthusiasm. My people are tired, injured, occasionally have to recycle dirty clothes because stuff doesn’t dry, and are very grateful for being able to continue this unique experience.
The enthusiasm is there, but it’s heavily concealed by immediate needs and issues, and only surfaces at the end of a day, or when someone turns up unexpectedly with a welcoming smile.
This happened to me today when I arrived at Samos. I was just glad to be there, but when Darcy appeared from a bar with a big hug, I knew Samos was the right call. Dave and Janet completed the welcoming party, and I was so happy to see them. I’d only been thinking today that I needed to email for their whereabouts; unreal.
I placed an order at the bar and, due to my inadequate Spanish, I had
agreed to a huge chorizo omelet wth bread and fresh tomato. That’s dinner covered, and it was only 3.30pm.
I tried to get a room at the same place they stayed but it was booked out. A young German girl was waiting and the owner thought we were together. I pointed out that we weren’t, and that this young lady could do better for herself than an old rundown guy like me. They both laughed ( you got to read the room folks ) before the lady suggested we might like to share. This was the moment the young girl took seriously and looked suitably shocked. Was she kidding? I insisted on going to the Monastery Albergue, but the owner did a ring around and secured a great room at a lower price for me.
I haven’t seen my three mates since they saw me safely to my hostel, but we’ll catch up tomorrow in Vilei , a simple 19.4 Kilometres away.
The walk to Samos from Triacastela was outlined in my guide as being along road surfaces, but it followed the río Oribio for most of the way, and passed through some places that were completely
I first left the road at San Cristobo, and it had a very backwoods feel to it. It I had heard the first 9 notes to a popular banjo song, I was dropping the backpack and running. It was remote. But beautiful.
The old stone huts along the track were possibly for people tending animals, and I walked in shade for the entire afternoon. You certainly know you’re in Galicia. Everything seems greener, and except for one downhill section near Samos, the paths are well maintained.
I think this is to enhance the experience of the new pilgrims starting in Sarria who do not really need too much hardship in a shorter walk to Santiago. The locals want a good report card to go home, in order to encourage more walkers.
Approaching Samos and seeing the Monastery for the first time was worth the aching feet.
This 6th Century Monastery is the oldest in Spain, and possibly the largest. It has had monks living there continuously for the last 1500 years. Originally a School Of Theology and Philosophy established by the Benedictines, I just wonder , Why in Samos? It’s in a deep valley,
fairly remote, and as with many places in Spain, you wonder about the choice of location. Political influence maybe.
I went to the pilgrim mass at the Cathedral in the hope of catching up with the others. I was the only male in attendance at a mass that was poorly attended. A congregation of about 30 I’d guess.
Well, that’s it for now. Samos is interesting and I’m glad I’ve visited, as I’m not expecting to be through these parts again. Tomorrow I’ll be back on schedule with a short day. I’ll start a bit later, but still want to arrive in time for a bed.
Ciao for now, bye.
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