Walking Days 9 and 10

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May 13th 2014
Published: May 13th 2014
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I left Triacastela at 9am with the intention of taking the recommended route of 19kms to Sarria, however I missed the sign (maybe because my body was near frozen) and ended up on the longer route through the village of Samos. Although this meant I had 27km to walk, I was very pleased as the tracks were quiet, the countryside lush and turns out Samos is home to an enormous monastery, Monasterio de Samos, founded around the 6th century and belonging to the order of the Benedictines. I arrived at the monastery just in time for a tour with a group of school children. As the monk leading the tour spoke no English, he found a student that did and made her translate the tour for me! She was lovely and I was grateful as it was a fascinating place with lots of history, artefacts, paintings and sculptures. As only 12 monks currently occupy the huge monastery, there is a chance it will close within the next 10 years unless they get more people to join. Apparently of the 12, most are over 80.... I noted none of the young boys in the school group volunteered!

Back on the track, there were a few signs that made me laugh hard, as you will see below. At one stage I had a slight panic attack as hadn't seen anyone else for at least 2 hours and was beginning to think I was lost. After referring to the trusty map, discovered I was still on track (yellow arrows not as frequent on this particular path and sometimes easy to miss as covered in weeds etc) but obviously not many people going that way today.

Arrived in Sarria just before 4pm, tired and with my left knee a bit sore, but had a great day walking. Had fantastic paella and a couple of glasses of rosado for dinner with Sue and Karen and then back to Hotel Alfonso (bit fancy) to Skype the kids.


Rest day in Sarria, one of the largest towns I've passed through since starting the Camino. Visited the church of Santa Marina XIX, the Mosteiro de Madalena XIII, the Hospital de San Anton XVI and the ruined castle Torre de la Fortaleza XIII. Lots of history in Sarria although the town doesn't rate a mention in Lonely Planet's Spain guide. There are many
people starting the Camino here as starting at this point just meets the requirements to obtain the certificate (Compostela) at Santiago - you need to have walked at least 100km to obtain the Compostela and Sarria is 111kms from Santiago. A little trivia, the Camino's popularity is rising, perhaps after the movie "The Way" in part, and there are 300 pilgrims per day on average commencing the journey. Just on the movie, "The Way", I have met many people who were inspired to walk the Camino after seeing it and are very disappointed that it's not as easy / flat / fun as the movie made it out to be....ummm Hollywood spin strikes again.

Found a great little Italian restaurant on the Camino as you head towards the monastery, Matias Locanda Italiana, and had home made gnocchi with meat sauce. It was delicious and just what I was craving after walking around in the cold. The owner is a friendly Italian man who was telling me they also now have rooms for overnight stays and a massage service for the pilgrims, if the food is anything to go by it would be worth a look for anyone passing through.

The province of Galicia is much different to what I expected, rather cold and windy, but considering the mountains in this region are the first object in 5,000km that the westerly winds from the Atlantic hit, makes sense. Many mountain streams and beautiful pastures around here with the pork and beef meant to be amazing.

Quiet afternoon with a glass of rosado in the sun after purchasing some postcards (hope they arrive back in Australia). Really enjoying the trip, only 5 more days of walking now and then I will be in Santiago, where has the time gone!

Love to all.


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