There’s now just 101kms to walk until I reach Santiago. I’ve now passed Sarria, the traditional start point for those desiring a Compostela to show off to their pals and the quick, low commitment, way to complete The Way.
The last 50kms have passed in a blur and yet everything and nothing has happened. I’ve enjoyed traditional communal dinners, got 8 mosquito bites in one night, taken mass (badly) at the Samos monastery and negotiated a believed lock-in that turned out, as ever, to be self inflicted in Albergue Santa Rosa.
The walk started yesterday in Fonfria in very cool conditions. I had to break out the fleece for the first part of the morning. I was also very itchy from a night of being eaten alive by bedbugs or mosquitos. Half way thru the morning I accidentally turned the camera on myself and realised I looked shocking, bags under my eyes, unkempt hair and a real hang dog expression. I fixed this up with a litre of water and vitamin C supplements that I’ve learnt really help with the daily dehydration. Checking my bags when I arrived today into Morgade I realise I am carrying the same water I left Samos with. During this section of camino there are so many watering holes that you can walk a whole day and never touch your water stash.
Yesterdays walk was pretty easy, a 20km hop to Samos which is a town most people don’t visit as it adds another 10kms to the camino. As I am slightly ahead of schedule and am unlikely to walk again for many years it felt like a good option to stop by this 7th century monastery. My Albergue was beautiful if a little unattended!
As I arrived at the Albergue Santa Rosa I found my name attached to the door instructing my room number. No one was there. I went up to my room and had a shower, still no one. I went out for lunch and came back. Nothing. Eventually at 4pm a lady turned up, took my money and went away again. It’s a good job I’m fairly self sufficient! What she didn’t tell me though was how to leave the next morning. The signs said the Albergue would be open from 7am, so at 7.30am I did expect this morning that someone would be around to let me out of the locked door. Nope. I started to get a bit irritated – I was now being held up! By 8am, I was casing the joint looking for windows to escape out of. I looked down at my room key again and realised that a small front door key was also on the key ring. I left at 8.01am.
Pilgrim mass at Samos was atmospheric but I didn’t understand a word. I also made a fool of myself taking the sacrament as I looked around the priest for the wine to take with the bread. At catholic mass it’s just a wafer. The priest motioned putting bread in his mouth.
Todays walk felt pretty long but at 25kms was an average camino day. I felt pretty rushed after Sarria as I was worried there would be no beds in my chosen Albergue in Morgade. I bombed it over the last 10kms to walk in to find only one bed taken. So many lessons, camino after camino, and so so slow to learn them!
Anyway, I’m now sat with a beer 5 days (or maybe 4) from Santiago. My clothes are in the washing machine. I’m wearing a brand new t-shirt and am looking forward for dinner. At least I can remember to be grateful – which I am. Especially for the beer.