This was posted on this day last year on travelalphabetabc.wordpress.com as part of my Camino journey.
So I am now in Rua on my final night before reaching Santiago tomorrow and I thought I should post now and leave Santiago to have it’s own post.
This is a travel post of what I have noticed along my Camino so of course you may have done it differently and that’s ok as we walk our own Camino. If you’re looking more for what the Camino can bring to you personally then please read beingthebestyoucanbeblog.wordpress.com as I will be updating it shortly.
If you wish to know how crazy and packed the Camino gets once you enter Sarria then please read on.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I took the long route from Tricastela to Sarria so I could see the monastery at Samos. I was looking forward to teaching Sarria as I was due to meet up with a fellow pilgrim I had walked with weeks ago and kept in touch with.
All pilgrims starting before Sarria knew that it would get harder once we hit Sarria as more pilgrims started. Some were well organised and made sure they walked through Sarria and stayed outside so they had a head start the next day. I didn’t and noticed immediately more people who were clean and energetic compared with all out tired bodies. This meant that they would rush past you without even a Buen Camino clearly trying to get their first days walking out of the way as quick as they could.
The scenery is still beautiful on that first day out of Sarria even with the rain we had to walk in. The 100km sign does not appear in Sarria but a good few kilometres after and you walk through several villages and hamlets before you get to it. Unless you’ve been paying attention and wanting to find it then it would be easy to miss it as there isn’t a big sign or anything to mark its presence.
Those starting in Sarria are welcomed by many inclines and descents along the way to Portomarin and when you reach there you have to climb steps to get in to the town.
If you’re not staying in or stopping for lunch in Portomarin then you carry on to the left rather than climbing the stairs.
The next day I carried on to Palais del Rey which again provided gorgeous scenery however we were still accompanied by rain throughout the day. Another day of inclines and descents all the more difficult due to the weather. Along the way in Castromajor you can see Roman ruins which are off track a little and not well signposted but worth a detour.
The next day I walked to Melide which was a beautiful and relatively short walk of 15kms. I was so lost in my thoughts I didn t take too many photos or remember much of it. That’s when you know you’ve lost yourself to the Camino and welcome the time with your own thoughts. On arriving in Melide, you notice the restaurants offering Octopus their speciality and it is well worth tasting. You also notice more pilgrims again as this is where the Caminos Frances, Norte and Primativo join to head into Santiago.
To Arzua and another short walk of 13 kms which allowed me to stroll along with my thoughts again. The scenery was beautiful and again changed from what we have seen previously due to the prominent colours along the way. Some pilgrims carried on to get closer to Santiago however I was happy to have 2 days of shorter walks to really enjoy the walking and get lost in my own thoughts.
Today I walked to Rua a little village just before Arca and tomorrow I will complete the final stage and reach Santiago. Still more inclines and descents and parts with no services, however I enjoyed that as a way to collect my thoughts and emotions ahead of tomorrow’s walk. Along the way we came across a wall of wisdom which has sayings along the wall either statements or thought-provoking questions to help you consider things ahead of Santiago.
Tomorrow I have 20km to walk before Santiago and another hill just before as a last gift of the Camino. As I write this my plan is to stroll in as I have previous days, to enjoy the walk and to have my reflection time. Of course when I see lots of pilgrims passing me maybe I will be pulled along with them. I hope not as I have given myself time in Santiago to be able to do this without rushing. I will have 2 nights there before I start my walk to Finisterre.