I’m coming to you from the upper bunk bed from a room with 20 beds at Albergue San Lazaro in Sarria. My ear plugs are girded. I’m ready to throw off my blanket at a moment’s notice when it inevitably gets stuffy. And, oh by the way, dear reader, Paula just kicked my bed from underneath. No worries, though, if push comes to shove, I’m ready with the below image. Yup, I fight dirty.
The walk, all things considered, was a short one. About 13 miles through beautiful countryside. But there was a problem. As we’ve walked this Camino, I’ve become hooked on my mid- and late-morning food fixes. Second breakfast. Third breakfast. Pre-lunch. We’re churning through the kilometers, and the DeBoards can’t make it on cafe con leche alone. But while this walk was a short one, there were almost NO SNACKS on this route. The few towns we saw were basically farms. And by the time 11 am rolled around, hangry was an understatement. We stopped at this unassuming house just before a town, the Cafe de Franco. I didn’t put the words together until I went inside and saw the French pastries. I had, no lie, the nets orange juice of the trip there, and the best croissant I’ve ever had outside of Paris. Seriously amazing.
We rolled into Sarria and our place is cute. It has a great common area and the people are interesting. Sarria seems a LOT larger than its population of 13,000 or so, and like many Spanish towns we’ve seen, it’s figuring out its mix of medieval history with modern buildings and life.
We also picked up another member of our Camino Family: Margherite from Italy. Rewind to last night, when we took over the Restaurant Esther with the Janets. As we were leaving, I struck up a conversation with a couple people waiting to pay. One of them was Margherite, although we didn’t get her name then. She got to our albergue just as we did, and she looked familiar. I said, “Are you from Italy? Did we see you at the Restaurant Esther in Triacastela last night?” Yes and yes! We ended up hanging out much of the afternoon and had dinner together. She’s an architect/urban planner and is delightful. At the end of the night, she said, “You two are a really wonderful couple.” Now, Paula and I know that, of course, but when you hear it from somebody you’ve only recently met who has a strong Italian accent and impeccable English, it just reinforces it and makes you blush!
We head to Portomarin tomorrow. It’s about 22 kilometers and we’ll climb and descend about 1,500 feet; this means dumbbell Google Maps will call it “mostly flat” as it has for much of this trip. Inching ever closer to Santiago de Compostela. Buen Camino.
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