To Sarria (the beginning of the finish line?)


This is the beginning of the end, my friends. Sarria is roughly 100 km from Santiago, the minimum distance for one to be granted a Compostela in Santiago. I also need to remember to get TWO stamps per day from now on to qualify. I already got tripped up by this today; the really nice (but gruff) host at my pension stamped me when I checked in, then I tucked it back into its safe spot in my pack… and left it in my room. I just walked around town for the last 90 minutes seeing the few places that will stamp me again.

Oh shoot.

I have it with me now and need to head back out and try again. Of course it’s between 2:00 and 5:00 now — siesta time — so all of those churches and sites are closed for the next 2-3 hours.

After a month I am still not used to everything closing for siesta in the middle of the day. Still!

I expected Sarria to be this big party town full of touristy stuff and overrun by pilgrims. It’s actually very calm and low key today. Maybe because it’s Wednesday? I also didn’t see very many young people or families walking through the town like I did the others. Lots of shops for medical equipment. I think the town might be an aging population unlike the other cities I’ve been through. Even the smaller cities — Logroño and Estella — seemed to be more lively and thriving than Sarria. It’s weird how different some places are in reality compared to what I imagined.

I’m still curious to see what these trees look like with leaves on them. I first noticed them in Saint Jean and have been seeing them along the entire trail. All of the other plants that were bare when I started are now in bloom or have their foliage in. Yet these plane trees look like they are just waking up. Will I see one with leaves on it in the next nine days before I head back to London? I have my doubts by the looks of these Sarria specimens.

Is it ok to admit yet that I really don’t like paella? Today was the third tine I’ve tried it, and the third time I’ve wondered if I’m going to get food poisoning later from it. Gummy, gluey, tasteless with dried out over cooked seafood. Obviously nuked. All three have been the same. No more paella! (I need to learn to resist the siren song of seafood that calls to me from the counter display). The bread was good.

And this guy came running up to me to be pet. We were having a lovely time until the cafe owner came out and shooed him away. That was mean, cafe guy, and your paella sucks!

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