We awoke to heavy overcast but no rain. Had breakfast and headed toward Sarria some 19 Kms down the road. The trail wandered through what must be near rainforest terrain. We were enveloped in a mist. I will call it a cloud since fog is too prosaic. Not many pictures or things to comment on as we could rarely see more than a few feet for most of the walk.
However, the region is known for its population of wild boars and wolves. Did not see any in the damp and dark woods through which we walked.all of the moss and lichen stuff hanging from the trees reminded me that the Romans considered the Celts as being dominated by witches and sorcerers. The Romans were good at demonizing their perceived enemies.
Back into the mist and a bit of a shower so we put on the ponchos and rolled on. Ran into another movement of dairy cows. They have the right of way and enjoy showing you their horns on these small lanes.
We walked into the small city (13,000 folks) a little after noon. We had run into Stephanie and her friend as well as the old French guys. We are in the region where there are these countdown markers on the Camino. Every 500 meters they announce the Kms to reach Santiago. Beginning to bother me.
Sarria is the last town before the magic 100 km point. You can earn a Compostelle by hiking the last 100 km. Since Sarria is at the 112 km mark and has train and bus connections, it is a popular place for people to start walking. We anticipate a huge increase on the trail tomorrow. We will see. We have seen many folks carrying their day bag and stickers announcing that they are using a company called Walks in Spain. I promise not to be condescending although the service that let’s them off the bus so they can do the pilgrim walk for a couple Kms a day does bug me. Especially if they clog up the Limon stops. Oh well, it is good for the Spanish economy.
Had a chance to walk around Sarria. In addition to the Carnival that is in town and the Monster Truck Rally planned for this weekend, the Camino is big business. We walked around the pilgrim area and there is a plethora of Auburgues and Pensions. We are in a fancy hotel filled with mostly middle class pilgrims like us. Unlike most towns, this place has at least three pilgrim supply stores with boots, sole inserts, clothing, etc. I guess that makes sense for one of the major jump off locations like St. Jean.
Had Helado ( ice cream) even though it is cold enough to snow. Found a pizza place that doesn’t microwave frozen Nestlé pizzas. Dinner solved. It should be interesting tomorrow with all the new hikers. There is a monster staircase that is sign posted as the Camino. We scouted out an alternative since a staircase is a good way to ruin a morning.
Couple of comment on Galicia. It has been inhabited by Celts for as long as the Celts have been in Ireland. Being in remote corner of the world helps to maintain your traditions and language. The locals are closely related to the Portuguese who speak a similar language to the local Gallegos. They maintain a healthy distance from the rest of the Spanish even though this is one of the poorest areas in the entire EU.
It became part of the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus but not governed by the Romans for another 200 years. A German tribe, the Suevi arrived in the 400s and was given the right to rule this region as the Kingdom of Galicia in 409 making it the first feudal kingdom in medieval Europe. The Visigoths replaced the Suevi and were in turn briefly kicked out by the Moors. This region was one of the first to toss out the Moors and gain fame as the final resting place of St. James. Places like Sarria have been benefiting ever since. Probably because there were no Monster Trucks back then.