Saturday, November 7, 2009

Triacastela to Sarria

The photos of the stage from Triacastela to Samos were 100% lost-a casualty of the 'corrupted chip' which is a real pity as the walking was gorgeous and well worth the extra 6km and the weather great.
The pull out of Triacastela along the road can be alleviated by cutting across the river a bit earlier than signed and we came across a little woodland path that joined up with the main Camino as it swung off the main road. We talk of Lydia, the Irish pilgrim we met and shared a meal with last night, and her funny painful Camino. Hope that she has a better time now she's down from "those hills" that gave her such grief.
We seemed to have the trail to ourselves and meet no other pilgrims until Samos-What a lovely riverside walk-shady broad leaf woods, dappled sunlight, river meadows with scatterings of flowers and birdsong.
Had breakfast in Samos with Anne Matte but couldn't face the rigors of a full scale Spanish tour of the monastic complex and the grand building seemed a long way from Samos' 10th century foundation. Unlike Yuso there was no Suso to provide counter balance and a reminder of the earlier essence of the place. I think we got the best view of Samos from the hill above. We had sunlight, shade and the sounds of birds and running water all the way.
Headed out of Samos by the river and I saw a bizarre image-it looked like a cat with a Salvador Dali moustache but then the ends of the moustache started wriggling and I realised that it was a black cat with a black snake in its mouth! The surrealist snake eating cat of Samos is something I'll never forget.
We cut left up a loooong hill it was a hot slog in the sun but we just kept on going and didn't stop till we reached the very top. I'll never forget us grinning at each other like fools saying 'we are two tough old wagons' and laughing out loud.
Passed a tiny little chapel with kneelers for 10 or 12 people and an altar cloth and flowers- all ready for a mass that probably happens once a year. When Frances had the first swig of water that we had refilled from a spring she said "sweet" both laughed- as she sounded like a teenager and an american teenager at that!
The 'king blister' is now layered like an agate- kind of pretty, or alternatively like an open cast mine-not so pretty. But we are OK with the 27km today-even in the sun, and if I had to turn around and walk back to SJPP I reckon I could do it-just.
Meet up with a group of Swedish pilgrims who got dropped by bus at Samos and are staying in Sarria tonight. They are a nice lot and we stop and have a cold drink with them at Aguiada. Boy are we glad of the rest and fluid as the roadside walk into Sarria saps us a little.
Bump into Anne Matte again who is trying to find her hostal and Helle, she uses our map to find the hostal but we can't help out with Helle.
Amazingly we are able to watch the Leinster V Munster match on TV and I take a metaphorical whipping as Frances, a Leinster fan, revels in their triumph she even has a phone conversation with her mum dissecting their win-cruel.
Head up, and I do mean up, town-its a steep climb and we are both thinking "Oh lord this is what we face at 6.30 tomorrow morning!" Stop off at the Pilgrim shop and I have to laugh at myself for feeling vaguely 'superior' to the new pilgrims buying all the gear-just like I did in SJPP-my how the worm turns!
Catch the end of a christening service at Santa Marina and get our credential stamped there as the sello is self service. Then sit opposite the Concello sipping beer and pilgrim/people watching in the sun. And nearly everyone seems to be a pilgrim here-but all clean and shiny and excited- the truth is I'm a little envious of their novicedom. Its strange but this evening, unlike any previous occasions when we heard Irish accents and we sought to make a connection if we could, in Sarria we don't in fact we drop our voices so 'they' won't hear us and avoid eye contact with an Irish group a few tables down. I'm puzzled I really don't know why this is-maybe because we're tired?
I suggest to Frances that if they ask us 'So whats it like then?' that I'll jump up and shout " you want the truth? you can't handle the truth!" in a crazed 'Jack Nicolson as pilgrim' kind of way. We collapse in wheezy chuckles and then I get it. We are cherishing our last few days and being selfish with our 'time out' time- as we only have 4 full days left so its more precious somehow. We are being mean old time misers, and I think of the generous souls in SJPP and elsewhere at the start who had walked from Le Puy and other far away places who we pestered with questions and got such gracious answers! Do as you would be done by Nell.


Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Nell, I know that for the last few days we also became very quiet about how far we had walked. And I don't really think we were in any way trying to be rude. It was just that we had had an experience of walking such a long way that really wasn't able to be understood by the 100km 'newbies'. I know that sounds derogatory, and I don't mean it to be, as it was simply a fact. When one lady at Brea (after Melide) heard how far we had walked, she wasn't able to be quiet about her amazement all evening. So it was kind of better to be quiet about it....

Pilgrim Nell said...

It is an odd feeling isn't it that desire to go a bit undercover at this stage? Though I think in your case Margaret as you'd walked from Le Puy twice the distance we'd done you actually had some light to hide under your bushel! Nell