Image Posted on
Today was the day I would begin my last 100km of the trail! The night before, Sally and I decided that we would hike the next few days alone, but meet up at the hostels at night to have some company. I can’t speak for Sally, but I hadn’t really hiked alone on the trail since day 1. I was glad to have the company that I did, but I was kinda anxious to get on the trail and have some alone time.
Sally’s only concern for the trail was it would be so packed. Sarria is a popular place for pilgrims to begin their pilgrimage because you can still get your certificate saying you completed the trail if you hike a minimum of 100km. It was a small concern of mine as well, but I pushed it aside and just told Sally not to worry about it. Ironically, when we opened the door to the hostel to start on the trail that morning, a whole class of at least 30+ school kids from ages 13-16 (maybe) and their chaperones came walking up the street right in front of us. I didn’t even try to hold it in, I just busted out laughing because what else can you do at that point? I let Sally get a good 20-30 minute head start so we could hike solo, like we’d talked, and then I set off.
I spent the majority of the day trying to stay far enough behind the high-schoolers that they wouldn’t interfere with my ‘zen’ hiking. That proved to be difficult. But, I was able to appreciate how much the terrain had changed since Astorga. There were now several hills, and the area was masked in colors of green everywhere, kinda like hiking through the shire from “Lord of the Rings.” Old stone walls on either sides of the road marked off farmers fields and there was livestock everywhere, which sometimes brought an unpleasant aroma with it. Every face I ran into now was unfamiliar because I had left them all behind in Astorga. It was like starting all over again in St. Jean.
Finally, at the end of the day I crossed the long bridge over the Mino river into Portomarin. First priority, post office. I wanted to unload a bit from my pack, so I decided to mail some back home. When that proved to be way too expensive, I decided to mail it to Santiago for a much cheaper price and then I’d carry it home with me.
After I took care of some dead weight, I sat down for an afternoon cerveza and met an American from Las Vegas named Nick. He was just as quiet as I tend to be, but his pack caught my eye. He had the same exact pack as mine. I couldn’t resist talking to him about gear since I work at an outdoor store so we stuck with that conversation for a while. We hung out at the bar for a bit and then decided to head back down the hill to a nice alberuge called O Mirador. For 10 euros, you got wi-fi, hot showers, and a really good restaurant/bar upstairs. And,wouldn’t you know it, I ran into Sally there.
After having some down time writing and napping, then writing and napping some more, I grabbed some dinner at the restaurant upstairs (the cheeseburger was awesome!). Afterwards I ran into Sally and we made plans to meet at another albergue the next day. I was glad that to still have 1 friend along for the second part of my journey.
Distance: 22.4 km
Accommodation: O Mirador- It’s a decent albergue close to the bridge over the Mino river. They have good wifi, a really good restaurant upstairs, & good hot showers. It’s also right next to the trail. If you walk up the hill a bit, there’s a small town square.