At some point during today’s walk, we passed a distance marker that said we were 150 kilometers from Santiago de Compostela. It rained almost the entire day, and my phone acts up in the wet, so I didn’t take a picture. But that means we’re halfway through our walk. We’re approximately 100 miles in and we have less than that to go. Whew.
Today was a wet day that started fairly flat and ended with a long descent into Triacastela. We both kind of crushed this stage, rolling into town at about 2. There was a particularly sweet moment at the end of one of the downhills, where Paula pulled me in close for a kiss and a smile … then almost immediately shot a snot rocket. #truelove
Galicia is an agricultural region. We saw chickens and working dogs and lots of cows. In fact, in one of the small villages we walked through, we shared the road with some steers. Or maybe bulls? Cows with horns.
Triacastela itself is fairly small, with only a couple of restaurants. That’s a good and bad thing. Not a variety of food choice, but also, you run into familiar faces a lot more. We ran into the Bucknell students and professors, who are a kick in the pants. We saw the Dutch couple. We saw Korean Actress, who asked me several times, “Where’s your wife?” When she finally saw Paula, she grabbed her with both hands and was clearly happy to see her. We saw Daisy from Grass Valley for the first time since the first day.
We had dinner with some of our Camino Family; the Janets, Henry and Yvette, and Mark from Sylmar. Tomorrow is Mark’s last day on the Camino, he heads for home after Sarria. And it pains me to report this, dear reader, but we said good-bye to the Janets as well. They want to make the Sunday mass in Santiago, so they’re skipping a stage. They’ve become fast friends, I will miss them. Here’s something I learned at dinner tonight: NEITHER ONE of them is actually named Janet! As far as I’m concerned, they will always and forever be The Janets, but at home they are apparently Miriam and Carmen. We have traded contact information with Carmen (aka Janet) and we’re planning on spending some time with her and her sister in Madrid post-Camino.
Also, a Major Update! I’ve traded messages over the last 24 hours with Booking.com and they are refunding me the cost of the most expensive lodging in Villafranca del Bierzo. Success! And success kind of beyond my wildest dreams. I’m feeling very empowered right now. Thinking I might ask for a second Santiago Tart for dessert, I don’t know.
Funny thing: Mark from Sylmar stayed at Albergue El Castillo, the place that turned us away. He said “it was a pretty nice place!” I said, sternly, “did you take one of our beds???” He immediately showed me his reservation; he hasn’t picked up on my humor yet.
On to Sarria tomorrow. It’s about 20 kilometers, but the big news here is the atmosphere will change significantly moving forward. Sarria is by far the most popular starting point of the Camino because, at 100 kilometers from Santiago, it’s the shortest distance somebody can travel and still receive a compostela. Big crowds are coming, and the relative silence we’ve enjoyed this last week will probably fade away. It’ll be an adjustment, considering the vast majority of people we’re seeing now are people we’ve gotten to know over the last week. Buen Camino.
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