Day 29 (28km?)
Tricatela – Sarria
Today’s trek was wholly unremarkable, save for one fact. Today we walk into Sarria, and reach the 100km mark. That was is we have 100km to Santiago. We also enter the most crowded section of the whole trip. Sarria is where those with only a week or so available and/or they want their compestella and don’t want to or (can’t ) take the time to walk the other 700km, start their trek to Santiago.
Rain is in the forecast, and the fact that the sky is grey and air has turned bitter cold (beyond the normal morning chill) is a sure sign that our dry walks may be a thing of the past.
We arrive in Sarria and check into the Don Alvaro albergue on a recommendation from “this guy” Dave knows…’his name is not important’, we are told, but all the same his recommendations continue to ring true. (This is a first time in a long time that we have stopped this “early” in the day, and it feels good.) We practically get our own room, and do some much needed laundry, as we (especially me) are tired of smelling like a gym bag. We prepare for the pending rain. Dave on the other hand refuses to buy a rain jacket or break out the rain poncho his sister gave him. He says he has nearly 20 jackets at home and he doesn’t need another one. And as far as the rain, he’s from New Brunswick, so he’s “not bothered by a little rain”.
We know this by their new shoes and crisp new credentials they present to get their first stamp after mass.
After mass, we dine on Italian food, doing our best to avoid another “pilgrim meal”, and return to our albergue for the pending evening festivities. One thing special about staying at the Don Alvaro, is that they have a separate gathering room, with a fire place and benches. Each evening, around 2030 they light the fire and leave a guitar, two bottles of Galician “spirits” (one of clear liquid “augardente” also known as “fire water”, and the other a yellowish green liquor called Orujo de Herbas), and shot glasses for everyone to imbibe with…and they leave. Soon liquor and “singing” was being slung about like we were in an Irish pub after football (soccer) match…well maybe not that ruckus. Now some, to include an Irish gal, a Kiwi gal, and Joe, could really sing. More importantly is that they knew all the words to the songs they sang (well maybe not Joe, unless it was “Thank you for Being a Friend”…but he could sing) The rest of us on the other hand, well, we could sing a chorus (sort of), but not a whole song…without being given the lyrics, and even then it was far from American Idol, but it was fun, and one of the most memorable evenings of our whole trek.
Be Strong! Austin Strong!