A Travellerspoint blog

Camino de Santiago

Day 22, Sarria to Portomarin

The day starts with the feel of a long day. After a wonderful relaxing afternoon yesterday - we are slowly crawling out of bed at 06:30 -- unusual for this trio. It is a short walk through Sarria -- but the final out is tough - a long flight of stairs and more climbing followed by a long steep down hill. I never find my mojo today; the body and mind are tired and screaming-- give us a break or else. It is just over 6 hrs to complete the 22 km to Portomarin. We walk some very scenic trails with some good up and down sections - the body / mind still screaming for a break. We arrive Portomarin, enjoy a pleasant breeze as we cross a bridge over a man made lake into the town and created to a steep set of stairs and more climbing to our albergue. By now I've decided to give the body/mind a days rest.

Portomarin is a beautiful little town. We have a room with two bunks - 40 euros and we take all 4 beds. We did offer the 4th bed to young German lady who hope to find her own room or one with few beds. She must have been successful as we did not see her again. She did say she liked and trusted Canadians as two Canadian gentlemen carried her to medical aide last year when she broke an ankle on first part of journey. Love those Canadian stories!

Today I walked and chatted with a lady from London, Ontario. She grew up in Goderich. She was most interested on our thoughts about the NDP sweep in Alberta. Like many of us - shocked. Then we chatted about the fall federal election - wondering if there may be more surprises. I'm sure Harper and gang will take a closer look at public sentiment. I doubt he'll learn anything -- too arrogant in my opinion. Idbe happy o see minority PC gov't in which case I could see him step down as leader. I hope 2015 is the last we see of him on the federal stage.
Today we walked with people from Malta. They are part of a walking club who decided to do the last 110 km of the Camino. It is there first day. The group totalled 59 with majority doing St. James Way and a few doing the Portugal route. It was interesting watching walkers today...we see many who are just starting - smiling and lots of bounce in their stride. Then there are the ones who have been walking for weeks - a more serious demeanour. As the lady from London said, " I'm tired and sore and just want to be finished."

I enjoyed a Russian salad and a pizza for dinner - no fries. I really enjoyed the meal.

One more comment on my tired body: during the hikes in Peru and Nepal I remembered the shortness of breath - only experienced sore muscles on walk into Colca Canyon. After carrying this 10 kg pack for days and feeling the impact I'm certain I'll pay attention to body weight as I age. I recall hearing things like carry a 10 lb sack of sugar around for awhile -- you do feel the difference. Double it and do for weeks - months - it has to be tough on the body.

This is Hans 4th Camino!

See you tomorrow

Al

Posted by al poole 01:50 Comments (0)

Camino de Santiago

Day 22, Sarria to Portomarin

The day starts with the feel of a long day. After a wonderful relaxing afternoon - we are slowly crawling out of bed at 06:30 -- unusual for this trio. It is a short walk through Sarria -- but the final out is tough - a long flight of stairs and more climbing followed by a long steep down hill. I never find my mojo today; the body and mind are tired and screaming-- give us a break or else. It is just over 6 hrs to complete the 22 km to Portomarin. We walk some very scenic trails with some good up and down sections - the body / mind still screaming for a break. We arrive Portomarin, enjoy a pleasant breeze as we cross a bridge over a man made lake into the town and created to a steep set of stairs and more climbing to our albergue. By now I've decided to give the body/mind a days rest.

Portomarin is a beautiful little town. We have a room with two bunks - 40 euros and we take all 4 beds. We did offer the 4th bed to young German lady who hope to find her own room or one with few beds. She must have been successful as we did not see her again. She did say she liked and trusted Canadians as two Canadian gentlemen carried her to medical aide last year when she broke an ankle on first part of journey. Love those Canadian stories!

Today I walked and chatted with a lady from London, Ontario. She grew up in Goderich. She was most interested on our thoughts about the NDP sweep in Alberta. Like many of us - shocked. Then we chatted about the fall federal election - wondering if there may be more surprises. I'm sure Harper and gang will take a closer look at public sentiment. I doubt he'll learn anything -- too arrogant in my opinion. Idbe happy o see minority PC gov't in which case I could see him step down as leader. I hope 2015 is the last we see of him on the federal stage.
Today we walked with people from Malta. They are part of a walking club who decided to do the last 110 km of the Camino. It is there first day. The group totalled 59 with majority doing St. James Way and a few doing the Portugal route. It was interesting watching walkers today...we see many who are just starting - smiling and lots of bounce in their stride. Then there are the ones who have been walking for weeks - a more serious demeanour. As the lady from London said, " I'm tired and sore and just want to be finished."

I enjoyed a Russian salad and a pizza for dinner - no fries. I really enjoyed the meal.

One more comment on my tired body: during the hikes in Peru and Nepal I remembered the shortness of breath - only experienced sore muscles on walk into Colca Canyon. After carrying this 10 kg pack for days and feeling the impact I'm certain I'll pay attention to body weight as I age. I recall hearing things like carry a 10 lb sack of sugar around for awhile -- you do feel the difference. Double it and do for weeks - months - it has to be tough on the body.

This is Hans 4th Camino!

See you tomorrow

Al

Posted by al poole 00:42 Comments (0)

Camino de Santiago

Day 21, in Sarria

It seems everyone had a good sleep last night - I sure did. They say I was the snorer last night. I found a position on my back - thought I would enjoy it for a few minutes before turning to my side. I guess I didn't make it to my side.

We are up and on the trail just before 07:00 - along with most everyone else. For some reason I decided on boots at last minute - good thing as we had some good up and down sections ( and wet) for the first couple hours. We stopped at 09:00 for coffee and the hard boiled eggs we prepared last night. Overall it was a great walk along some interesting trails and beautiful vistas. It was not unusual to be walking through someone's farm yard - right past the barn. I'm sure the see it as future customers in the coming villages.

We arrive in Sarria just before noon and find albergue room for 3 -- 10 euros each. A great spot with green space. Sarria is a beautiful little city.

We are meeting more people who have just started the Camino in last few days, I suspect we will see more in the coming days. I see where it could a great way to spend a weeks vacation and get credit for doing the Camino De Santiago.

Last night we met a young lady from Korea doing the Camino on her own. She has used the bus on occasion as she wants to see more of Spain. Also, an elderly Korean lady in our room who was having knee pain. She had taken a bus a few days ahead of her group to rest her knees. You could tell she was looking forward to seeing her friends again. I think it would be fascinating to know of the many sacrifices/alternative pans people take so they can finish. It doesn't seem to matter whether they are alone or in a group. It is tough. This is Hans 4th - it will be in the range of 4000 km carrying a pack. Not in the cards for Al!

Tonight I will cook dinner at the albergue. I'll let you know later how it went.

I'm back so dinner was at least acceptable. A couple of chicken breasts marinated for 4 hrs in orange marmalade, lime juice and zest and grainy mustard. The side dish was onion, red and green pepper and mushroom in balsamic reduction. AND, best of all no fries! We had some sliced mango for dessert - not Hawaiian fresh but tasty.

Tomorrows update will have us below 100 km. Early in the journey I spoke of reaching 50 km - a walk to Ponka from Red Deer (are you nuts) and then around 160 km ( a walk to Calgary (you are crazy). At this point 100 km seems like walk around the block.

We met some interesting people here -- more on their story tomorrow.

Buenos Noches Amigos

Al

Posted by al poole 11:58 Comments (0)

Camino de Santiago

Day 20, arrive Triacastela in Galicia

Hola!
Despite the crazy accommodations last night we were treated to a spectacular view this morning - looking down from our mountain top at the clouds/fog covering the valleys below. I took pictures on my camera so they will come after the walking is done. A bonus - no wind so it was a bearable 4 or 5 degrees C.

For the 21km today, there were a few short steep climbs in early part of the day but most was downhill all day . I find the long steep downhills the toughest. Today I could feel my hips for the last hour. We have a room with only 3 bunks and bathroom for our room. It will be hardship to take another room with more than 4 or 5 bunks. A hot shower followed by a rest and all is good. As we work through this early part of Galicia province the scenery is awesome. Its a rugged land with smaller farms. I understand it is a poorer region of Spain. The people are friendly - quick to offer a buen Camino.

We have just under 130 km to Santiago and should make it on May 29 no problem. For me, i cant get there soon enough. Tomorrow we plan on just over 20 km. I think its back to sandals. The weather continues to look favourable for us. We have been so fortunate.

This is from a few days ago; an older Japanese couple doing the Camino: he is walking while she takes taxi/bus and meets him each night. The variety of stories is endless.

I will admire all those who walk every kilometer for whatever reason. For those who take the time to see the sites and enjoy the people -- even better.

I'm so excited to arrive Santiago I could see another short bus ride in next few days. Time will tell.

Hey --- the last blog about the toy from Toys R Us in Madrid. Not true! I'm sure you guessed it.

I hope it getting real green in Alberta.

Chow

Al

PS: the coffee is getting better the past few days - actually served steaming hot. A nice change. We usually have cafe Americano grande - some times cafe con leche. I prefer Americano when served HOT.

Posted by al poole 10:58 Comments (0)

Camino de santiago

pictures

20150521_115805.jpg More photos ...climb to O Cebreiro and few forward ; also picture of small boy and his 'toy '.

Posted by al poole 09:09 Comments (0)

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