Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Day 31 - 23 May - Biduedo to Sarria

As Barry White famously sang:

Let the music play
I just wanna dance Camino paths away
Here, right here, in Sarria is where I'm gonna stay
All night long

Another six o’clock alarm day. Casa Quiroga proved a comfortable and warm home for the night, so much so that yesterday’s wet stuff was now all dry. But for how long?

We ventured outside at quarter to seven, all poncho’d up. The weather forecast was for rain, rain and more rain. But it wasn’t raining. Instead, it was overcast and misty as we set off on a steady path down, passing through the villages/hamlets of Filloval, Villoval, Pasantes and Ramil, all of which being tiny little farming communities with the occasional albergue thrown in for good measure. In such cases, the albergue is a bit like a mini all-inclusive accommodation as they represent the only place to eat, drink, relax and sleep in their immediate location. On a warm, sunny afternoon after several hours of walking, I can think of nothing better than taking advantage of their facilities. A lot less cow splats all over the paths/ roads might lend a sweeter ambience though.

After four miles we were in the town of Triacastela where we stopped for coffee and a cake, the latter which resembled a yorkshire pud with custard. Sounds horrible. Tasted delicious. 

Onwards. We were making good time and with a total near sixteen miles on the cards we were keen to continue the momentum. We passed through two more small villages in the early part of the three hundred metre climb to Alto Riocabo. The reward was stunning views to the south, enhanced by the sunshine now making an appearance. We were de-poncho’d, un-jacketed and de-leggings’d by now. 

We began to descend again and discovered that coming down steep(ish) bits hurts less and is much quicker if you boogie on down. I’m not sure about Mrs C but I came down to Keep it Comin’ Love by KC and the Sunshine Band. Hey girlfriend, I owned that floor. 

The path eventually plateaued as the landscape turned English with rolling hills and fields. Unfortunately the weather also turned English as a mizzy rain began to fall, necessitating all the wet gear back on again. 

Some of you may recall that Mrs C recently picked a fight with a tree. Her penchant for mixing it with trees is complemented by a similar disdain for brambles, bushes and any kind of hanging creeper. As a consequence, Mrs C’s poncho was shredded very early on in our Camino and the pristine poncho that she now sports is, in fact, mine. The things you do for love.

The coolish weather meant that we continued our momentum so, after a quick re-fuelling stop in Pintin, we pushed on. As we approached the town of Sarria, our destination for the night, the rain stopped and the sun even tried to come out. By ten to two, we were in our apartment.

Sarria is the starting point of the Camino for many peregrinos, it being the minimum distance from Santiago from which you can walk and obtain your Compostela certificate for completing the pilgrimage. As a consequence, the Camino usually gets much busier from this point which isn’t to everyone’s liking. Indeed, we received a message from a friend one day ahead of us saying “half of Spain is on the Camino - this is the week of Ascension - huge crowds- hordes of young people with boom boxes”.

Anyway, Sarria isn’t attractive. Not one bit. However we got a recommendation for a good restaurant which turned out to be spot on and there were a few familiar faces there as well. These included Marsha from the US who has now been joined on the Camino by her husband and two children. She is so nice and attractive that I think she must be related to the Osmonds. She says “y’all” a lot and I just want to break out into a duet of Paper Roses with her.

I think my boogying down, earlier today, has brought out the artist in me. Boom boxes? Bring ‘em on. Another bottle of Estrella Galicia please.

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