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Published: October 22nd 2017
Geo: 42.8442, -7.74767
Dave had a restless night after Sue jabbed him twice for snoring. When the lights came on she apologized because it was the guy next to us!
We had breakfast of our granola, yogurt and orange with a grande cafe con leche, at the albergue restaurant next door, same as last night. Lisa joined us and we didn't hit
the Camino until 8:45.
It was steady uphill with one serious climb. We grabbed a couple of bananas at an oasis half way to the 11 kilometer village of Calvor. Here we had coffee and the last of the cookies given to us by a German woman at the albergue in Carrion.
The scenery remained mountain grazing but as we ascended the clear skies gave way to fog. This would be the first day in memory that we didn't shed a layer by 10:00.
After a few small farm villages, that all smelled of cow manure, we arrived in Sarria. This town is almost 14,000 and is a big starting point for the Camino Santiago. To receive your Compostela (certificate) of completing the Camino, you have to do 100 kilometers and Sarria is about 115. All reports are that from here on, it is
going to get very busy, and the overall composition of the pilgrims could be changing.
The old part of Sarria is very pretty with the church dominate at the top of a street with at least 100 stone steps leading to it. Our intention was to have lunch here after a stop at a local market for groceries. The market was closed for siesta and none of the restaurants caught our fancy, so we pressed on.
The landscape of Galicia is different from the dozen ecosystems we have passed through. With its rolling hills of green pasture, mixed with a random corn field, it definitely brings a feel of Ireland. Add the stone walls along the roads and separating the fields and we are ready to hear the locals speaking Gaelic.
The primary overnight is Barbadelo but Sue and Carlos were able to get us a reservation in the rustic, 16 bed, former sawmill Albergue Molina de Marzan. It would be about another three kilometers past Barbadelo, which gave us a 27 kilometer day.
We have passed and been passed by a Brit, who actually was part of the big dinner group in Ponferrada. He introduced himself there, but we never really caught
it, Lax or Vax??? Finally, this afternoon as he greeted Dave by name, Dave asked his, noting he knew it ended in ...as. He replied, it's Vass, just like ass with a V. At that very moment, we all passed a donkey that started braying uncontrollably. We all burst out laughing and will probably never forget Vass.
The Molina de Marzan is run by a single woman, at least that is all we ever saw. It is a cool stone building with a flower lined patio and separate building for dinner. The cost was 10 euro for the albergue and 9 for the pilgrim menu. Being in the middle of nowhere, the 13 pilgrims staying here tonight would be having dinner together.
Waiting for dinner we all sat around the patio comparing Camino stories. The one that got everyone's full attention was told by two young German women, of their encounter with the dreaded bed bug.
They woke one morning covered with bites. When checking into the albergue that night, they told the hospitalero what happened. This is when a terrible situation was turned on its head. Rather than turning them away, for fear of infestation, they washed and dried all
their clothes, their sleeping bags and treated their boots and backpacks. All at no charge! Normally, a modest sized load of clothes would cost 6 euro to wash and dry. We all joked that we should get a few bed bug bites just to get free laundry! And, since they were wearing random clothes that had been left by other pilgrims, they were not fit tolerable the albergue and were treated to a home cooked paella!
For further entertainment on the patio, we all watched with amazement as one of the cats caught a mouse. That's when the entertainment really started. He would let the poor thing go and run a few inches before catching it again. This was repeated over and over before the cat, with mouse in mouth, disappeared around the corner.
Having skipped lunch, we had Fritos and the rest of a bag of nuts along with a couple beers on the patio. We gained no weight today - small yogurt, handful of granola, shared three cookies, a banana each and the aforementioned snacks!
At dinner, we were represented by Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, Spain, and Belgium. We all enjoyed good conversation over dinner of an omelette, tomato salad,
and meatballs with rice.
Afterwards, five of us stayed and learned three (child) card games from the traditional Spanish 40 card deck. Really a great time.
We all beat the 10:00 lights out by 30 minutes!
Tot: 2.586s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 12; qc: 57; dbt: 0.0449s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 5;
; mem: 1.5mb