From Triacastela to Sarria
Day 23, Sunday 15 September 2013
Distance to Santiago: 130,6 km
The vast open landscape with cornfields and views into forever, gradually changed. The climate also changed, we were lucky not to encounter the frequent rain showers and thunderstorms. The thick mountain fog was always there. We walked through the Valcarce valley that was for me one of the most beautiful parts of the Camino Frances. Sarria was another milestone on the Camino. Many pilgrims started their walk there.
The last 100 km done by walking, cycling or riding on horseback would contribute in receiving the Compostela certificate.
It was cloudy when we left for Sarria. We walked the San Xil option that took us on a steep woodland path through forests, with a cool breeze contributing to an enjoyable walk. The highest point was Riocabo, from there it was downhill to Sarria. The steep green valleys with cattle grazing, the tranquil surroundings and remoteness, reflected in my soul, and left serenity, inner peace. By now we left excess baggage on the Camino and only carried the essentials we really needed. I likewise left emotional baggage on the Camino. Walking the Camino could not leave you unchanged. You had no choice, while walking for hours, alone, thinking you gradually grasped the effect of the emotional baggage you carried. And you could decide what you want to leave behind. As with abandoning articles to make your baggage easier to carry, it was not easy to go back and retrieve, so it should also be with the emotional baggage you left behind. Raymond, jou dood het ‘n gat in my hart gelos wat sukkel om toe te groei.
The Galicia region was too poor to provide sufficient employment and especially young men emigrated. You would find women herding the cattle, driving the tractor and tending the bars, do the cooking. We walked through small fields and lush pastures grazed by cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens.
We reached Sarria at 14:00 and walked on the ancient main street rua Maior past Igrexa de Santa Marina with a striking pilgrim mural.
We booked in at Mosterio de la Magdalena. We enjoyed the stay there. It was renovated with modern facilities and clean, neat dorm and bathrooms. After we had done our washing in the well-equipped laundry, we walked downhill to the Italian restaurant where we had a excellent three-course Pilgrim meal for €10. While at the restaurant we observed pilgrims arriving and walking past with too heavy backpacks and too much other equipment, clearly Sarria their starting point. We walked 18,7 km for the day.