Samos & Sarria
I thought today was going to be a fairly straightforward easy one of 21km, but it turned out to be a more challenging 26km or so...
Last time I took the quicker forest route through to Sarria. It had its hills and challenges but was mostly very pretty. But Lyne, Denis and Francis all raved about the monastery at Samos so I thought I had better go that way this time!
My guide for this trip is just the small Michelin one that I chose for its lightness. It's fine for most purposes but only ever gives one route. And today the only route it gave for the second part of the journey was the quick route along the road. That wasn't where the yellow arrows took me!
My first 'mistake' of the day was not having a proper breakfast before I left Triacastela: there wasn't another bar until Samos, 9km away.
The first three km of the route was via the roadside edge. The road wasn't too busy though, and it was along a river gorge, so you got to hear the water flowing as you walked.
But then the first unexpected treat of the day came along: the Camino headed off the road and along a forest path that was just beautiful. And every so often you passed through small farming villages. Again, it was mostly beside a flowing river and the sound was lovely to listen to.
The best thing about this path was that it arrived to give you a viewpoint of the whole monastery complex from above. Stunning.
It took me about three hours to reach Samos, at about 9.30am, just in time for some breakfast before the monastery opened at 10am. Except there was a muck- up and the food never arrived...
The monastery was stunning. Guided tour was all in Spanish so had to look with the eyes. Still a 'living' monastery with monks in residence so we just saw part of it.
Then I headed off along the road for Sarria. 11km the sign said. And my little guide showed the Camino heading that way. But the yellow arrows and Camino signs pointed another way, which I've since learned was 16km- making a day of some 26km I hadn't properly prepared for in terms of food or water....
However the route was beautiful- some forest and some past farms. And the Galician deciduous forest is so lush and green at present. The hamlets were tiny and I couldn't find any on my map. I was clearly on the less travelled route. I alternated between thinking I should enjoy every moment of this peace and calm as it would no longer exist after Sarria; and worrying that I was getting dehydrated with no water fountains to fill up from.
I have always carried two water bottles before, and today was the first time I had decided that was unnecessary as there were so many fountains. I ended up with a sore calf for the first time so I am making sure I drink heaps this evening. There's no way I want tendonitis at this stage!
Eventually the route joined up with the main route directly from Triacastela. And then I came to a bar with some angels running it. Had a cold drink then potato omelet done the real way in the kitchen, and served hot by the elderly lady who cooked and served it with a gracious smile. My angel for today.
So then it was 4km into Sarria, and I knew it was a bit of a haul up the hill but was ready for it, and there was a bed and a shower at Don Alvaro where I stayed last time. Huge number of people here who I have seen before. Funny how we are choosing the same albergues! There's also a nice Spanish couple here who are starting tomorrow so are unsure what lies ahead. All of their gear looks new and clean, unlike for the rest of us!!!
Oh and good news for tomorrow. The Italian place up the road serves a buffet breakfast from 6.30am that includes muesli. I'll be there!
Sent from my iPod