July 4th Sarria
We are in an albergue in Sarria listening to the dogs bark and even heard a rooster crowing earlier for quite a while. We only did about 15 k today as we are still taking it slow. We did almost the entire way on the Camino again today. As we can backtrack if we need to. After we left Samos and John the Irishman, we headed out of town towards Sarria. The first part was along the road and it was very nice.
Right before we left town we saw a Correas office. That is Spains post office and we had never seen one open in the month we have been here. I went in to explain that I worked for the post office and wanted to take a couple of pictures. The lady behind the counter didn’t speak English and went to get someone who did. While she was gone, I snapped a couple and looked around a bit at the stuff they sold. When she came back and I explained it to them again, they said pictures were not permitted. I kept my mouth shut and said Gracias and took off after Deb down the road.
The fog was pretty heavy but it made everything hazy and beautiful, John had said it looked just like Ireland when it was in like that. One thing about this part of Spain (Galicia), it rains so much that it is so green and lush.
When we got out of town we passed a little church, like the so many we have seen all over the countryside. There may only be 20 people in a village but they will have a stone church.
A little further down was a wayside park, if I read the sign right it was built almost entirely by one man, a stone mason. I enjoyed this park more than I have enjoyed some of the fanciest buildings we have seen. Every bench, every wall, every table was perfectly straight, and each one was built differently. All this many years ago before all the technology we have now. This guy built every piece by hand.
We walked by a water wheel house and across the road to where the Camino went up a very steep road. We had decided to walk as much Camino as we could today and this was the start. It went up at a very steep grade for at least three k and then we were in a town called Luscio I think. There was nothing there and I could tell the Camino would not be able to be done by the chair. We looked around, found a road that looked like it might go to Garolfe and off we went. We saw roads that other pilgrims don’t get to see, but on our vacations in America we see roads that other travelers usually don’t get to see. We get lost a lot.
We followed the road around with only having to push the chair once or twice. We knew that people would have to get from town to town without walking so there had to be back roads to each village. We found the turnoff to the next town, by the book, at least I thought it was the turnoff. As we went about 500 meters we came up on a brush hog thing cutting back the sides of the road. The whole road was blocked. One of the men jumped out and came back to us to explain that we were on the wrong road. He told us to go back to the crossroads and take the other lane. There would be a carratera all the way from Gontain to Gorolfe. We did as he said and everything worked out great until we came out of Gorolfe. The Camino only went up about 200 meters to the blacktop but that 200 meters was about the rockiest, muddiest, slipperiest we had seen yet. There was no way we were going back 10 k to start over so we slipped , slid and pushed all the way to the top.
As we got to where the two Caminos met in Hospital, we came upon our first sign of civilization. There was a little bar just past the town of Perros. We saw the tables and chairs out back so up we went through the gravel. There were steps down into the bar so D would have to eat outside. I walked in and saw a front door if we would have went 20 more meters we would have seen it. Back down we went but there were steps and the lady inside didn’t seem super nice so we figured we would drink a coke and go.
While we were there a lady came up and started talking to Deb, then got her drink and bocadilla. I talked to her for a while and although I can’t recall her name, she was traveling the Camino backward but going to Jerusalem. There are three main pilgrimages, The Camino de Santiago, Rome, and Jerusalem. The one from Santiago to Jerusalem is about 7500 km. And I thought we were accomplishing something. She is going ten times what we will.
While we were preparing to go a couple walked up with packs and said “I bet you are from Oklahoma” We are how did you know. They said they had heard about us and they were from Tulsa. They were the first Okies we have seen over here. They were Mark and Lori and Mark even had on an OSU hat. We loved it. We talked for a while and they had come all the way from St. Jean also.
After they left we headed on into Sarria, Deb’s chair made it the whole way on only one charge. It is performing great. We are so much more comfortable with the distance we can get now per charge. Permobil you guys rock. I wouldn’t even attempt this feat in any other chair.
As we got into Sarria we stopped at the tourist office to see if they knew of an albergue we could get into. They gave us a couple of ideas and a map and off we went. Deb said stop into this one. It was called the Oasis chillout and relax albergue. I went in and a very pretty girl named Ines said she had just rented her last downstairs room. She was very sorry but she said she would be happy to call around for us. The people here are the greatest.
She came out and met Deb and we got a picture with her, she said she would put it on their facebook page. She told me she had seen us up near O’cebrero on the road. She was driving a van and saw us walking the highway down. Small world. Anyway she called and almost everywhere was either full or upstairs, but she knew a lady who was very nice and called her. The Albergue San Lazaro turned out to be perfect for us. Marisa and her daughter Maria were exceptional. They got us a private room, helped us with our laundry, and along with some other guests from Spain even recommended a place for a late lunch. We quickly friended them on facebook. Ladies thank you so much.
We went to the Hotel Roma for lunch and it was fantastic, a little higher class that we have been used to but the food was excellent. We got a stamp for our credential, we must get two a day from here on in, but we usually get that anyway, what with all the cathedrals, bars, and museums they have here.
Well it is after 12 and I am off to sleep