TREKKING — DAY 32

SAMOS thru SARRIA to PERUSCALLO — 14 Miles

When we discussed plans for today’s walk I had decided I would walk as far as Sarria, about 9 miles away.  I thought it would be another easy day with another easy walk.  Well, the best laid plans….

The first 6 miles of today’s walk would be on mountain paths and I knew there would be a lot of mud and I really wasn’t looking forward to that.  The first mile was next to the road on one side with that beautiful river on the other side.

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I could see 8 other trekkers walking ahead of me but when I saw the distinct yellow arrows point off to a path on the right none of the other trekkers went that way.  What?  Why? Did they know more than I did or did they just not see the yellow arrows?  I looked behind me and another  couple hadn’t taken the path either.  Ten trekkers and none of them saw the yellow arrows?  A couple blocks later we all caught up with each other and stopped.  I think they had figured out they weren’t on the Camino path.

Well, I knew from looking at the map that the highway would get me to Sarria, as would the muddy Camino path.image

So I told a Spanish couple and a confused Japanese couple (who spoke about 3 words of English and no Spanish) that I was going to take the highway.   The Spaniards started walking the highway, I followed them and the Japanese couple followed me.  The others all back tracked to get back on the Camino Path.

It was supposed to be sunny and warmer today but so far it was cool and quite overcast.  Even walking along the highway, the landscape had its own beauty.

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It was a little bit dangerous walking directly on the highway because every so often cars would go whizzing by at a high speed.  There was sometimes a little path on the other side of the guard rail but it spooked me to walk on it because I was afraid there might be a snake lurking in that grass!

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And I had to be careful to avoid stepping on those big black slugs that were often on the path.

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I reached the city of Sarria before noon and realized I had no desire to stay there.

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I met Dick for coffee and told him I wanted to keep walking and get out of this busy place.

Sarria is a starting point for many people who want to say they have walked the Camino and still receive their Compostela in Santiago.  With diligent walking it can be done in about 5 days.  So I knew there would be a whole slew of new trekkers who would be joining us on the Camino.   What I didn’t know was how difficult that would make it for us.

The path was beautiful and ever changing upon leaving Sarria.  It was level at first but then went steeply uphill through the mountains. After a few miles it leveled off and was such a pleasant walk.

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I was running into more and more trekkers, especially large groups of them.  Dick had driven ahead to get us a room in a small village but when he got there he said there were no rooms available at all and that there were 50 trekkers waiting outside of one place just to get a place to sit down!  Oh Man!  This was not going to be easy.

After I’d walked a total of 14 miles and there were still no vacancies anywhere I met Dick and suggested we drive to the town I wanted to be in tomorrow (Portomarin) and that we stay there tonight and tomorrow night.  Tomorrow morning, Dick could drive me back to where I had walked to today and I would walk the rest of the way to Portomarin tomorrow.  Sounded like a plan, right?  Well, it wasn’t as easy as that!  We drove ahead to Portomarin and I went from Hotel, to Hostel to Albergue and they were all completely full!  Finally I found one at Hotel Arenas that had one room left for tonight and one for tomorrow night and even though it was expensive I grabbed it up.  I knew the demand for rooms would be big but I had no idea it would be this bad!

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As for now, we were set for the next two nights, the sun was out, and we were starved.  We had a great late lunch in the central square and soaked in that beautiful sunshine.

As was our nightly ritual we would sit outside again for a glass (or two) of wine before retiring for the night.

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Outside Hotel Arenas in the Central Square.  Great day with beautiful scenery and the perfect wine, I mean way, to end the day!