Camino de Santiago Day 29

Thursday, May 5

Samos to Pontomarin

37 km / 23 miles

So I went to bed pretty early last night, around 8:30 pm. So naturally, I woke up early. 5 am to be exact. A great night’s sleep, albeit pretty cold in the stone-walled monastery. I enjoyed a few moments more of warm blankets before going to the bathroom and getting ready for the day. I left by 6:30 am, in the hazy cold, and set off for a long day.

The first 15 kilometers were through small towns; I’m talking a few buildings, most deserted, and maybe two people. In between towns were dirt roads through what seemed like rainforest, although I’m sure it was the early morning mist that made it feel this way. It was pretty eery, but still very beautiful.

I made it 15 kilometers to Sarria around 10 am, where I met up with Kevin and Nicholas! Today is Kevins birthday! They were staying in Sarria an extra night, as Kevin’s husband was flying in to begin his leg of the camino with them tomorrow. For me, just a brief birthday breakfast with them before continuing on another 22 kilometers to Portomarín. 15 kilometers and 10 am was just too short of a day.

Sarria is also the city where most people begin their Camino. In order to receive your Compostela in Santiago, you must have walked at least 100 km to Santiago. Sarria is just over 100 km, making it the perfect starting point for a lot of pilgrims, some who only want to do a small portion, or some with only a short amount of time. With that being said, a lot of people began their Camino today. It’s always easy to spot them because they’re taking pictures of yellow arrows, shells, signs, and things that I have seen thousands of already. It gave me a bit of anxiety, as now there are so many more people on trail. It feels weird that people are just starting while I’m on day 29 and 700 km in. I’m just trying to remind myself to stay kind and compassionate and that everyone walks their own camino.

I kept a good pace today, partly because I knew I had 37 km to cover, and partly to avoid the groups of new pilgrims. Maybe tomorrow I’ll make friends with them.

I passed that 100 km marker today! I’m under 100 km until Santiago. It feels awesome to have come so far but I think now I’m gonna start pumping the brakes. As much as my body wants this to end, I’m having such a great time meeting people from all over, sharing this bond, and waking up every day with only one thing to do: walk. I know I’m going to miss it.

I made it to Portomarín at 3 pm, after 8 hours of hiking. And as I entered town, I see two ladies I met in León having wine with Graham! When I say I screamed and squealed, I did. I thought Graham had been at least a day ahead with the others!

And just two bars down, I again screamed and squealed as I saw Greta, Ida, Christian, Adam, and Felix! I thought they were two days ahead! Oh my god, it felt so good to be reunited with old friends from the earlier stages of the camino. I didn’t think I’d see them again after my leg pain and rest days. It made my day to be reunited with them. And I know there’s another group of friends just a few towns further that I hope to run into the next (final) days!

I explored town just a bit, had some wine, went to the market, and made my favorite dinner… a bag of mixed greens, sardines, and packaged guacamole. Okay maybe not my favorite, but an easy, nutrient dense, healthy meal that doesn’t include bread, fatty meats, or cheese.

Spent:

€8 Breakfast

€9 Lunch

€8 Albergue

€8 Groceries/Dinner

Total €33

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