My pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago XII

What a night! People were up and about until early morning hours and such a cacophony of coughing and snoring that I could just as well have had a chainsaw to my ear. Temperatures have also dropped to about 4°C during the night and I’m basically wearing all the clothes that I brought.

We have to catch the bus in front of the grocery store and only know that it passes between 6:30 and 7:00 am and therefore head out even earlier. True to the Camino experience, it is still raining.

Waiting for the bus turns out to be an endurance test. We are shivering and trying to push our bodies against the wall to avoid getting drenched as there is no shelter in the vicinity. When the bus finally arrives, my hands are frozen stiff and it takes a few attempts to get the money out of my bag.

Oh, the bliss of a warm bus!  As we near Triacastela it is still pouring with rain and we decide to push through to Sarria. Here, although still on the cool side and drizzling lightly, it is nothing compared to what we had this morning. My body is now craving its daily caffeine fix and anything resembling food. We get our bearings and head in the general direction of the big church to pick up the route again. As it turns out it is quite easy to find and any passer-by will gladly point you in the right direction. Opposite the church we find an Albergue with a restaurant in the front and we head inside for the usual breakfast of toast and jam.dscn2701

We head off in much better spirits. The first part through the old town is really beautiful and there is a big monastery at the end just before you head off into the forest. It is still drizzling on and off, but under the big trees it is not that noticeable. One might think a forest.. is a forest.. is a forest, but this one has got a special charm to it. I don’t know if it is because of the size of the trees – they are quite big – the little stream that follows us or the weather (or lack of sleep) but I feel immensely peaceful.  The forest road turns into farm lanes and the stones lining the road are covered in thick green moss…centuries are just falling away.

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We have skipped a day or so ahead of our original plan and can now take it really easy. The roads are also much busier again as most people only do this last bit to qualify for their “compostella”. Upon reaching Casa Morgade lunchtime, we decide to call it a day. It is a small little place with wooden floors and is very neat and clean. We book in, go for a hot shower, have our lunch and take a decent and well-deserved afternoon nap. It is still cold and raining by the time I wake up. I grab my sleeping bag and go down to the little lounge where the one couple is playing cards and another guest is reading. I decide to catch up on a bit of reading myself and just enjoy the homely feel.

The women who run the place are all sitting in the dining room and it is quite a raucous affair. Seems during siesta time the kitchen is closed and without any customers, it allows them time to catch up on their daily dose of chatter. We have to ask a couple of times whether they would light the fire for us, but they seem to be ignoring the request. They eventually light a fire just before supper time.

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Our food is good though and we have a nice group of people for company tonight. There is an Australian guy who is finishing the Camino that he started a couple of years before. At that time he had a bad knee injury and couldn’t continue. He has also recently quit his job in Australia and is using this as a stepping stone to start a new life elsewhere.

A young German girl sharing our room has got a terrible flu and is in serious need of some tender loving care. It is terrible if you are in a strange country, sick and far away from everything and everyone. We help her out with some pain medication and convince her to rest for a day to allow her body time to recover. I think, just the fact that somebody cares has already made a difference.

We also met up with this lovely Italian girl earlier in the day and she tells us about her struggle the past year with a muscle disease. I find her extremely brave to attempt the Camino despite this. She doesn’t carry her own bag and only does small sections every day, but is determined to finish the required 100kms.

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it!

O’Cebreiro to Sarria by bus €5.40

Sarria to Morgade – 12km

Thought for the day : Your mind might be the biggest obstacle you need to conquer to fulfill your dreams.

 

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