Day 36 Sarria – Portmarin

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..

7 thoughts on “Day 36 Sarria – Portmarin

  1. Oh Andy, i so empathize with you. Regarding the white sneakered tiny back pack people, as we called them. I think its somewhat. Normal for many of us “thru ” hikers to feel a bit oddly towards these new guests on the camino. But i share with you an accident that happened while we stayed at portamarin.
    While staying at the private albergue an older pilgrim , maybe 70, fell down the steps( i wont comment about the safety of some the places, …), and thus his camino ended. It was a bad fall and he had only started the day before in Sarria with his daughter and son in law. It caused me and others in my Camino family ( forged over past 700 km) to stop and pause. Thse pilgirms have many reasons for starting in sarria and we are all welcome and i should not be ” mean ” spirited to them. I was certainly sad for this mans pigrimage to end so harshly.
    I vowed the next day I w ould not think mean thoughts of these new pilgrims. Was i susccesful, probably not always but i hope was a bit more tolerant towards them.
    Hoping you find peace in the remaining km into Santiago, buen camino!

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  2. Nathan Bissonette May 23, 2018 — 8:32 pm

    I’m in Portomarin. Can I get a selfie with the famous author tomorrow?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha of course!! And I don’t even charge! 🙂

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      1. Nathan Bissonette May 24, 2018 — 4:23 am

        Hitting the Camino in a few minutes. Staying tonight at Pension Plaza in Palas de Rei. Call my mobile 612-245-9795 and I’ll stand you the first round.

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  3. I hear you, it’s a shock to the system. I remember at one point during one of the last stages, this sensation of feeling like I was at an airport hurrying to catch a plan with the masses.

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  4. Yep. had the crowds from Sarria too, including a large group walking about 5km a day and bussing the rest. Whaddaya gonna do. Part of the Camino I suppose.
    Ken

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  5. Great blog, Andy! I’ve been lurking. Am also hoping you’ll be able to continue another Camino after you arrive in Santiago – I’ll miss your daily postings! The photos have been wonderful, as well as your adventures! I don’t care much for the Sarria to Santiago either, but have, in fact, met some great people on that section!
    Have you thought of walking the Camino InglĂ©s – from Ferrol to Santiago? it’s only about 115 km, nice scenery, not so much infrastructure – albergues, cafĂ©-bars, etc. Check the Forum for the InglĂ©s for current numbers of people walking. Last Fall it was empty, but people have become aware of it, so there may be a lot more now. But you may enjoy the longer Portugues more! Congratulations and Buen Camino! OTH86/Terry

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