Friday, January 24, 2014

Camino 2013 - Day 35: Samos To Ferreiros.

We were woken up before sunrise by church music coming out of a cheap boombox.  The convent albergue didn't like pilgrims to dawdle.  We left when it was still a bit dark.

It was a foggy morning and things felt damp.  After you leave Samos you have a couple of choices: take the highway all the way to Sarria or take a branch of the Camino that joined the other route, the one I took last time, before it too arrives in Sarria.  We took the branch because it would be much more scenic.  It turned out to be quite scenic passing through forest, pasture, and farmland all cloaked in fog.
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A foggy morning along the Camino.
This portion passes through "towns" on the map but these towns are usually just a group of farm buildings and there were no places to stop for food or to just get in from the chill of the morning.  Along this portion we met a group of young French who we would see off and on the rest of the Camino.

The branch of the Camino from Samos joins the other in the town of Aguida where we stopped in a bar to get some breakfast.  It was nice to be in from the chill and the food and drink tasted good.

On the way Sarria we passed two signs.  One was for Airexe the goal for day 36 and Ferreiros the goal for today.  Since we were not following either road I wondered if we had followed those signs would it have been a shorter walk?  Would we have bypassed a whole day?  The pilgrim's path is not always the shorter or easier path.

In Sarria we stopped in a grocery store to restocked then in a outfitter so Gv could buy rubber tips for her Trekking poles.  Gv didn't go through as many tips as I did since she took them off when we weren't in the city.  I left my tips on all the time and wore through them a bit faster.  My reasoning ... I didn't have a convenient place to put the often wet and muddy tips when I wasn't using them.  My pack belt pockets, which would have been perfect, carried other things that I would prefer to keep clean ... like Werther Originals.
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Climbing the stairs into old Sarria.
We climbed up the stairs into old Sarria, passes all the albergues in the town, and then headed out.  Sarria is the traditional starting point for people who only want to do a short portion of the Camino and still do the 100 kilometers required to get the Compostela certificate of completion.  Sarria is roughly 108 kilometers (67 miles) from Santiago de Compostela.  I'd been dreading this last portion for awhile.  The number of pilgrims tend to jump up here and the number of pilgrims in clean, well fitting clothes and new shoes goes up rather dramatically.  I was a bit worried about getting beds each night.  The Sarria surge turned out not to be as bad as I expected - probably because it was so late in the year - and beds were not hard to find.

The rest of the day was spent passing all the Sarria newbie pilgrims on the way to Ferreiros.  Some asked us what the rush was.  We responded that we just had a fast natural pace after walking for 34 days.  I was surprised at how many pilgrims started late and arrived late at the albergues.  Last time I thought most pilgrims started early and got to the albergues early.  Maybe my memory is a bit skewed or maybe it was because the sun rose later.
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A hay wagon in the fog.
Just before Ferreiros you approach the 100 kilometer marker.  As we were approaching I passed a man resting on the side of the road.  I noticed a woman ahead of him.  It took me a few seconds to realize the woman was Nc.  The man I'd passed was her husband Rh.  We hadn't seen them since Undués de Lerda way back on day seven of the Aragones.  They had taken a short day to Sangüesa to see the bull fights - and ended up leaving the bull ring after it turned too violent for their tastes.  Later on they'd skipped ahead on a bus.  It was one of those Camino moments.  We kept running into people we never expected to see again.

I didn't remember much of Ferreiros from last time.  I'd just walked through without noticing much.  We checked into the municipal albergue and did our chores.  The social gathering place here was a bar/cafe/restaurant next door to the albergue.  We spent the afternoon and some of the evening here.  We ate lunch and dinner here.

After dinner we ran into Rh and Nc again and we sat with them as they ate (we'd already eaten) and caught up.  I told them about my shell destruction.  I stepped away to use the computer to make reservations in Santiago de Compostela.  When I got back Rh handed me something.  It was a shell necklace.  J-M had given Rh and Nc two necklaces.  Rh said they didn't need two and would like me to have his.  I was so touched.  Camino angels ... and another Camino moment.  Later that night I threaded the shell onto my yellow cord I'd used for my original necklace, the one that had been blessed by the Bhutanese monk.  I felt so much better with that shell around my neck.

This was a wonderful day and I slept well with my shell necklace in a safe place.

Pictures can be found in my Camino de Santiago 2013 Flickr set.

Total Distance on Day 35: 26 km ( 16.16 Miles)
Total Distance Walked: 799 km (496.48 Miles)

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Approximate Track of the day's hike.
[Click on map for a larger version]

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