For Spring Break I walked the last 118km of the Camino de Santiago from just outside of Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. I traveled with my Aunt Linda. After finishing our walk we drove to the coast (Fisterra), and down to Ourense, and back to Madrid. Here are some excerpts from my journal.
Day 0: Madrid to Santiago to Sarria.
Today we flew into Santiago from Madrid and drove to Sarria with a man and his wife. They were very friendly and showed us cool places to eat along the way of the Camino. They dropped us off in town and after getting our pilgrim passports we walked a couple miles out of town to a lovely hotel. For dinner we ate carrots, apples, cheese, and nuts outside on a bench and socialized with a very friendly cat.
Day 1: 20 miles. Sarria to Portomarín.
Today we had amazing fresh juice at breakfast! On the walk it was hot and I got a little sunburned. The sun is the worst from 16:00-18:00. We had a great lunch and rested our feet while we ate. We were both afraid we would be too full to walk, but we both felt amazing after a big feast! My hips and shoulders feel bruised from my pack, but mostly the soles of my feet hurt. Today’s walk was incredibly beautiful. I felt like I was in a fairytale.
I really enjoy speaking Spanish with locals and fellow travelers. We also met a mother and son from Colorado, USA. They were doing the whole Camino Frances and the mother had broken her shoulder on day 21!
We found the last two beds in Portomarín. We stayed in a beautiful and quiet hostel across the river.
Day 2: 17.8 miles. Portomarín to San Xulían.
Lots of ups and downs today. The walk was incredibly beautiful with lots of scenery changes. I am really enjoying myself. I love being outside and having time to myself.
*Side note: We saw a fox yesterday, run across the road, hop and leap through the tall grasses.
Physically, I am doing well. My feet are hurting, but I am grateful not to have blisters. I think Linda and I are going to try and wake up earlier tomorrow morning to be able to walk more in the morning. Our hostel is beautiful. It is small and we are sharing a room with a lovely South Korean couple. We had a nice community dinner.
Day 3: 16.9 miles. San Xulían to Arzúa.
By the time we started walking this morning it was 8:30. It was a windy morning. I saw a couple walking with a dog. The dog looked really happy. My feet are in a lot of pain today. We stopped in Melide for lunch. We ate at a place named Garnacha, famous for their octopus. I really hope we arrive in Arzúa before 16:00.
Today it seemed like people were speeding by Linda and me. A 70-year-old woman ran by us today! Literally, f**king ran! She is French and has been doing the whole Camino with her friends. We caught up to her because she would take a lot of smoke breaks…
Day 4: 18.7 miles. Arzúa to Lavacolla.
Today we woke up at 6:30, but didn’t get walking right away. I love seeing dogs on the Camino. Today at lunch and golden retriever wouldn’t stop eating bark and sticks! I had an amazing bocadillo today. A man at the bar told me the tortilla at this restaurant is the best in all of Spain and that he drives a ways to get it every week. It was delicious!
Linda and I have been hysterically laughing a lot. We are both exhausted.
Day 5: 8.5 miles. Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela.
We left at 8:30 today. I don’t know if it is because our bodies are getting accustomed or if it is because I know today is the last day, but the walk seems much easier and lighthearted. We reached Monte do Gozo quickly and from there quickly walked down into Santiago. Because it is Semana Santa there was no Pilgrims Mass, but instead Linda and I went to a community confession when we reached the city.
So far Semana Santa has been incredible! I feel so lucky to be able to travel and see so much of Spain.
1. Take time for yourself.
Photography ©Alex Tremblay-McGaw