Today was a short walk, we thought, and set out promptly at 9:00 a.m. after breakfasting on toast, butter, thick local honey and coffee. Nearly four hours later we finally came to a place to stop for coffee, and by then, lunch. It’s been very unusual to walk such a distance without encountering a bar or restaurant.Much of the path was woodlands and meadows, with stretches along the rio Oribio and plenty of up-hill and down-hill. Luckily, we had shade much of the time because once again the sun shone bright in Galicia.
When we got to the main street of Sarria (at nearly 3:00 p.m.), Regina and Anthea snagged us — they found an Italian restaurant (owned by an Italian) an hour or two earlier and had been enjoying excellent pizza and beer. We helped them finish the pizza, and then all came back to our very pleasant pension and kicked back. This evening we climbed back up the hill for Italian dinner — an excellent thick spinach and potato soup, a couple of different kinds of pasta (one with artichoke and butter sauce, and one with arriabata sauce), and tirimisu. This was served as the “Menu del dia” — menu of the day — several choices of soups and salads for the first course, several choices (all meat or fish for the second course but they usually provide something like omelettes (tortillas) for vegetarians); plus bread, water, house wine, and dessert — all for nine euros, a very good price.Then it was time to meet Tom and Peg at the bus station, and settle in at a nearby bar so that they could have some dinner and beer.
It’s been a pleasant day — enough walking (11 miles to get here, plus another couple around town) to justify eating a hearty and delicious dinner, but not enough to entirely wear out. Tomorrow we’ll take it easy — we’ve been walking for seven days straight and it’s time for a rest. When we set out again on Saturday morning, the path will be more populated. We met an Irish couple at the Italian restaurant who is just starting from here tomorrow, and traditionally Sarria is the beginning point for people who have only a week or so to get to Santiago. This was our 26th day since we left Barcelona, and it is odd to think that we could be just now starting out.
An old mill and mill race just outside Samos.
A hay storage shed, with tree trunks for supports, a couple of stone walls and a slate roof.
We’re still eating tiny black raspberries, a few for breakfast, a few for lunch, every day.
Part of our path, on dirt track beneath old chestnut trees.
Today’s wildlife — a shiny black Spanish slug, ready to take on the Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.
An old tree, one of hundreds along the way, that’s mostly hollow inside that twisted set of trunks but surviving quite nicely.
Galician corn — very healthy. They’ve harvested a few fields here and there, but it seems like they would have harvested more of it by late September.
We have seen a few of these — vending machines set in someone’s front yard, accessible to thirsty pilgrims but protected by iron bars. Enterprising folks.
A roadside saint in a little shrine.
Jim and Teri standing on the bridge over the rio Sarria.
Peregrinos going up the steps into Sarria from down by the river.
The Carns family greets the Lazios at the bus station in Sarria — Anthea, Regina, Jim, Tom and Peg.