Today, half of our group traveled directly from Triacastilla while the rest took a route that is supposed to be less onerous, but longer, through the town of Somas and past an old monastery there. It is now almost 5:00 pm and the second half has not yet arrived at the alberge. We, those on the shorter route, have been here since 2:00. The other group will have likely had the bigger adventures.
Our trip was onerous, but no more so than yesterday. We went up 250 meters and then came down 600. We did have some of the loose washed out steep pieces, but not as many as yesterday. The views again were spectacular.
We watched the landscape change again. In the hills, the farms are very small, steep, and appear to be struggling. As we came into the valley that we are in now, there seems to be some more prosperity, fields are bigger, and there is more diversity.
One neat feature is the churches. A village often appears to be little more than a couple of farms and maybe the extended family of those people, but each one has a church. One we passed by today was right behind a dairy barn. It had two benches, and all the other bits that your would expect to find in any full-sized church, right down to a confessional that was a four-foot long bench with a two foot high screen in the center. Spain continues to be the most Catholic country in Europe. Today is Sunday, and all the stores in downtown Sarria are closed.
Tomorrow we will rest here. This city is the one where many pilgrims begin their journey, so we have been warned that it will be a busy place. We are 111 km from our destination. To earn the Compestella certificate at Santiago de Compestella you must walk a minimum of 100km making this city a starting point for many.
We are moving slowly. J’s feet are still an issue and the steep rough surfaces seem to be hard on one of her hips. We continue to move though and are determined to finish as planned.
As we walk we find metaphors for life in the landscape around us, the people we meet and the situations in which we find ourselves. More on these in a future post.