For any non-boomers out there not privy to the references, yesterday we learned that what went up, had to come down. And today, it's up, up and away to Sarria with a 1000 ft ascent over the hill.
|Up, up and away, but not at too steep a grade, praisethelord!|
|Was it black cow poop or white cow poop? Only Dan McCoig will get this reference. Paul explained it to me and it defies understanding!|
|Seriously? A coke machine in the middle of nowhere? And it had a security camera.|
We soon our naps and then explored Sarria which is surprisingly Celtic in origin. I guess I should have noticed Galicia and Gaelic are the same word?😀 We walked up stairs into the old city which is footpath only. Although we saw the main cathedral, no visits were permitted as mass was in session. We continued upward to find the monastery of Mary Magdelene and get our "credential stamped."
|Mary Magdelena Monastery.|
|The city of Sarria from Castle Hill|
Some of the highlights were the scenery, the ferns and birches along the way and the vegetable gardens as we got closer to Sarria. There were also some surprises: A British artist with a watercolor gallery quite literally in the middle of the woods away from all towns. He appears to live below the gallery and be completely dependent on the passing peregrinos. The watercolors were beautiful, usually depicting scenes along the Way and some had inscribed scripture. He was quite personable and told us to watch for the ribbon of fog sitting on the city of Sarria as we descended the mountain. Other surprises: Amorous bovines, potato harvesters nearly in a fist fight, messages on rocks from passing pilgrims, and the soft drink vending machine smack dab in the middle of nowhere.
Daily meditation was on Plato. Paul's comment: Ahead of his time. I admire him for saying "do not repay evil with evil. Strive to always do good." That was in the BC time zone!
Paul's Ponderings: We hiked around 14 miles today, including extra stuff, from Tricastela to Sarria. The guidebook said "steep" but compared to East Tennessee steep it was not so bad, with most of that coming out of Tricastela. After that it was mostly forested paths of reasonable grade. The day was pretty much cloudy all day with no rain, but the temperature stayed pleasant (mid 60s). We were in Sarria by 1:30 pm and averaged about 2.8 mph despite the hills. So, we stopped for about an hour in a café and had a snack before heading to the hotel. For 14 miles, not too shabby. Sarria is a lovely town of about 13,000 folks. As such it's large compared to what we've seen since Leon. As an editorial comment, I've noticed the following happening in rural Spain…very unusual to me. Lou booked the lodgings in her name and when we show up they've been ready. In typical European fashion, they take down your passport information and then finalize the check in process. Despite the fact that she has paid for the lodging in her name, they ask me to sign the paperwork. And it's pretty clear they want the man in the party to sign it too. It's a bit odd to say the least, but we just roll with it. I've never seen anything quite like this in the US, even though they often think I am "Lou" due to the androgynous name, although there is a quick recovery once they figure it out. Our next two days are continued big mileage with around 14 and 15 miles coming up. But, we are already 25 miles into a 100 mile foot trip, so once we pass those days, we are way beyond the halfway point.
|Salud y amor on the walkway in front of the river Sarria|
|Words of encouragement from a passing peregrine to fellow pilgrims. Apparently some of the municipal dorms are not segregated, including showers. Paul found this inspirational slate|