Stopping in Sarria was a mixed bag.. we stayed in a lovely place (chosen by Randy, and obviously I can’t leave the man to fend for himself so I had to offer my company just to make sure he was ok). I found a kebab shop.. although I decided against eating a plate of mystery meat knowing I had a 22km walk the following day. I did have a huge bowl of French fries though so all was not lost.
The negative side to Sarria was they I was suddenly sharing my Camino with hundreds of other people which after spending weeks with hardly anyone around is a big shock to the system.
I’m not a religious guy, not even spiritual. But I do consider myself to be well meaning and possibly even considerate (when viewed in a certain light, from a distance . If you squint) But the throngs of extra pilgrims was definitely a trying experience. At first I tried to be polite, throw a few Buen Caminos here and there.. ask where they were from etc. The first bar where I stopped for a drink the queues were like a theme park.. 20 minutes to get a coffee and the line to use the bathroom convinced me to try a day of bladder endurance.. 22km without going to the loo is inadvisable but it’s a much better option than 3hours standing in line.
And so, I trundled along shrouded in mist, my two companions by my side trying to ignore the fact I was being held up by groups of fresh faced pilgrims taking photos of literally everything that did or didn’t move.. an hour into the walk and my thoughts turned from patience and understanding into planning various combinations of kung-fu moves which I would like to unleash on the next person who stopped suddenly in front of me to take a photograph of a tree or a rock.
Midway through the day we came across the marker that signifies 100km to Santiago.. to some that may sound far but it feels like it’s just around the corner.
All things considered I guess today should have been a pleasant day. Medium distance, a misty start that turned into a pleasant warm day. A few hills but nothing to trouble us young athletic types but somehow it seemed to drag. It took ages to get to Portmarin and I was beat by the time I got there. Randy and Ama (the new addition to the team) felt the same. I think the only option is to treat myself to a pizza and a glass of vino tinto..