Que Suerte! – Fonfria to Mercadoiro

‘Did you know tomorrow, at 7.30, there is a bus to Sarria’ was the only thing my Italian bunk-mate in Fonfria said to me yesterday. Ohhh ‘la di daaaa’ was my first thought, what a strange comment for him to make. Then we went for our communal dinner and the cogs started to whur. ‘You know, Sazza (for that’s what I call myself), if you got the bus to Sarria you could ditch those shoes and get yourself some real hiking Goretex at Peligrinoteca’…. ‘Nah, Sazza’ I replied, you’ll miss the walk to Triacastella’. ‘But Sazza, your feet look like a Picasso, all grotesque and misshapen’. ‘Rude, Sazza, but you may have a point. I do not fancy another 30kms in these instruments of torture’. ‘Riiiiiiight, Sazza, imagine what a wide toe box would feel like right about now?’. ‘Saucy! You’re on’.

And with that my minds were made up! Bugger the walk to Triacastella. I’m taking the bus!

So this morning at 7am (not 7.30am) about half the albergue was lined up to take the shuttle down off this mountain and out of this wind and rain (or so we thought) headed for Sarria.

By around 8.30am I had a new pair of Merrills, my pilgrim passport was stamped and I was raring to try out these bad boys on a schelp down to Portomarin. I nearly made it too! So close!

During my hour in Sarria, though the shoe-hunt was very successful and I love my new Merrills I was not able to get my card to work in any of Sarria’s atms! No fear, I’ve 10€ left and i’ll make it to Portomarin no bother. And it would have been no bother had the gods not come down with a bad case of weather bi-polar and I hadn’t lost the waterproof cover for my backpack somewhere outside between Ferrerios and here! It chucked down – I mean – CHUCKED it down for a few hours at Mercadoiro leaving me a little worried to say the least. If I hiked the final 5kms to Portomarin everything in my backpack would have been ruined. I’ve no cash! I spent my last cash on a donation to a beggar, two bananas, a tuna empanada and a beer (I regret nothing of that!).


As luck would have it the plush looking albergue/restaurant at Mercadoiro accept cards for everything, even using the tumble dryer… sweeeet! So I’m here, sharing a dorm with an old French mute/mime who is keeping herself very much to herself. I’ve had to resort to speaking Spanish for company today to the bar staff and earwigging on the conversations of Spanish families!


‘Let’s do the camino in summer, he said’ – said an annoyed Spanish mother to her husband as the rain poured down upon us. Finally understanding a good amount of Spanish I found this hilarious and gave an eyebrow raise and a chuckle in her direction. She glared at me. I’ve also been able to understand the bar staff slagging off the patrons who asked for a taxi 2kms down the road. ‘They just walked 25km and they want a taxi for 2kms’. The Spanish are a lot more sarcastic than I realised! If they say anything about me I shall tell them outright that my Spanish is perfect and feign insult – who knows what freebies that may bring me until I find a working ATM.


So – in summary. I’ve got lots of blisters still including one stinker on my little toe. I’m out of hand-cash. I’ve lost my back pack cover, the camino is a mud-slide and I’m billeted with a French recluse. ‘There’s pulpo on the menu tonight and you’ve already paid, Sazza’

Que Suerte!

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