11 Oct 2019
I had a good night’s sleep (perhaps the cocktails helped) and left Sarria at my usual 8:30, in clear, 46F weather. Today was going to be a long one, 22 Kms, to Portomarin. It became a gorgeous, clear Fall day, into the mid-70s, with no humidity.
I passed a lot of this stuff growing by the path: yes, that’s cabbage but the tall stalks seem very unusual. It’s used in the this province, Galicia, for their signature “Caldo Gallego” or potato-cabbage soup.
They also grow a lot of these, but I think this is the first photo of Elsie I’ve taken:
With this kind of weather and path surface, I could walk all day:
And, our helpful Camino marker/milepost says, I have less than 100 Kms to Santiago!
Just outside Portomarin, I encountered Kerri and Christie in a roadside cafe but I said just hello and kept on going. We never did run across each other that night in Portomarin.
Shortly after that, I came to a place where the trail split. Which way to go? There was a helpful sign, saying the new slightly longer path was much easier, while the old, original shorter path involved some nasty clambering down rocks. Definitely the new path for me! But guess who misread the sign and went the old way? I did, of course, and found myself on the Portomarin “Billy Goat Trail”, literally on all fours going down very narrow rock chutes. Luckily, I made it safely through, though my legs were incredibly tired. And, I arrived at the foot of the bridge into town in double-quick time:
My hostel was quite near the main plaza and the fortress-like church. According to my cafe/bar place mat, in 1956 the entire church was relocated from a zone being flooded by a new dam, stone-by-stone, and rebuilt here.
I mentioned Caldo Gallego earlier, the regional soup, and here it is, along with my main course:
Now that we’ve passed Sarria, we’ve also been advised that we need to get two stamps per day in our pilgrim passports. So I have to remember to do that. We’re urged onward by the local statuary: