Great hike today! The Camino was merciful! There were initially very steep up and downhills as we made our way out of Sarria, as well as upon entering Portomarin. We hiked 16 miles!
In between the start and the finish, the trail was relatively level as it took us through small villages and open countryside.
Tom, Nick, Hal and me are now hiking as a group. Father Al’s group has encountered some physical setbacks. As a result, they are hiking at a slower pace, as well as starting their day later.
We have shared with them our daily itinerary and Albergue stops so that we can stay in touch.
Our plan is to arrive in Santiago de Compostela early on Tuesday morning. Tomorrow our hike will be more challenging. Significant elevation throughout. We plan to cover 15 miles and start out again at 7 am.
This evening we have treated ourselves to an Albergue that offers private rooms for two people instead of our previous stays that have been multibed! We even have a television! We have also agreed that when we finally reach Santiago that we will celebrate by staying at a Pensione!
What is very noticeable is the higher number of Pilgrims on the Camino. It appears that most Pilgrims start from Sarria in order to earn the Credencial. Prior to Sarria there were many times when we were the only Pilgrims. It was wonderful because we were each able to hike alone at times, reflect and allow the Camino to work its magic. Hal and I will be able to recapture this serenity when we return to Burgos and hike back to Ponferrada in about a week. I promised Hal that I would hike this section with him so that he could complete the entire Camino. Last year he hiked from the French Pyrenees to Burgos before encountering foot problems that caused him to stop. We’ve agreed that at some point in the future he’ll return with me so that I can complete the French Pyrenees to Burgos section.
Our group is doing extremely well physically! No foot or exhaustion issues! We have prepared and trained for this journey and we are now reaping the rewards!
By the way, we have given Nick his trailname – Wildman! Doing nothing more or different than any of his hiking partners did at 17! Great experience for him and for his grandpa Tom!