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    • Day 10

      Sarria - Portomarin (23,4km)

      July 19, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      "Geht in der Kraft, die euch gegeben ist, geht leichtfüssig, geht zart" - so schwebten wir über dem Camino bis nach Portomarin bei angenehm bewölktem Himmel, spürbar erholt von gestern. Wir passierten unter alten Eichen den besagten Kilometerstein 100 und dies - oh Schreck - mit hunderten jungfräulichen Peregrinos, die (also doch) in Sarria ihre Reise antraten. Ob spanische Schulklassen oder paraguaianische Reisegruppen, allesamt in gleichen Shirts uniformiert und die Flagge ihres Landes über dem Rucksack tragend, uns blieb nichts erspart.
      Signifikant für diesen Weg sind aber nicht nur neue Pilger, sondern auch Hórreos, typisch galicische Getreidespeicher, welche die bäuerliche Kulturlandschaft prägen. Ihre Funktion bestimmt die Form: Einerseits sorgen die seitlichen Schlitze für eine gute Durchlüftung (was aufgrund des häufigen Regens und der hohen Luftfeuchtigkeit in Galizien wichtig ist); andererseits werden dadurch Vögel und Nagetiere ferngehalten.
      Einige Kilometer später sahen wir in der Ferne unser Ziel Portomarin, über dessen moderne Häuser wir zunächst etwas erstaunt waren. Doch unser Reiseführer brachte Licht ins Dunkeln: Das ursprüngliche Portomarin wurde in den 1950er-Jahren im Zuge eines von Franco betriebenen Stausee-Projekts geflutet. Die ehemalige romanische Templerkirche aber (früher San Juán de Jerusalén, heute San Nicolás), wurde Stein für Stein abgetragen und oberhalb des Stausees wieder aufgebaut. Da steht sie nun wie ein Monolith, mit Zinnen bewehrt. Ohne Glockenturm, dafür mit Glockengeläut blechern und kratzend aus Lautsprechern.
      Wir haben uns auch kulinarisch weitergebildet und uns an den galicischen Pulpo, also Oktopus, herangewagt. Er schmeckte hervorragend! Ab morgen sind es nur noch vier Tagesetappen bis Santiago - unglaublich wie die Zeit vergeht...
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    • Day 28


      August 13, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

      Portomarin is all my deepest Camino fears and dislikes come alive. I am sleeping in a room with 129 other pilgrims, 95 percent of which started this morning in Sarria and are celebrating their time away from parents or spouses with copious amounts of alcohol.

      The Way echoes hiking sticks without rubber caps (why one would need hiking sticks in suburban Galicia is beyond me). You're on the Camino, not in the Arctic, get some rubber caps.

      There are boom boxes playing Spanish rap, groups blocking the way, lines in front of toilets, and more. Oh and prices have quadrupled.

      It's the final test before Santiago. I shall not fail.
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    • Day 26

      Early morning start

      August 25, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Stop in Palace de Rei after 25 km! 3.5h more to go today to escape the tourists! But the feets are aching a lot! Theae hobby pilgrims even have their own stamps to cheat. 🤦🏼
      The sky was very nice this early morning - unfortunately the pictures couldn’t capture it well! So Melide today, where the specialty is grilled Pulpo (Octopus)Read more

    • Day 38


      October 12, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

      Today held a gift, a milestone and a discovery. The gift was the walk. It was a gift, for all the work we have put in the previous weeks, to walk with strength we never could have imagined in such a beautiful area of Spain.

      We hit the milestone of 100 kilometers left before we get to Santiago. That means we have covered over 700 kilometers or 435 miles so far and have less than 60 miles to go! I am so impressed by Peg, covering all this without a single blister, failed joint or muscle and without a complaint. She has just killed it.

      The other thing this milestone brings is a lot more people walking. In Europe, taking a week off and covering this 100k is a very common undertaking. At the albergue we are in today there is even a large group of high school kids doing it. BTW, I have included a photo of one of the three dormitory rooms (rooms separated by curtains)
      in the albergue to give a sense of the hostel life. This facility sleeps 130 people. It could be a long (loud) night 😳.

      And now the discovery. As I walked, I thought of this post and how to describe our day. I soon realized I was out of adjectives. I have used amazing, wonderful, peaceful, awesome, magical, hell Peg even use mist-ical which isn’t even a word. Today I realized there is no way to describe this adventure, you just have to do it and experience it for yourself. Each day we complete the four Camino tasks of walk, eat, wash and sleep and we learn and discover more about ourselves and others in doing these four basic things. But the only way to fully comprehend it is to live it.

      Buen Camino
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    • Day 39

      We Arrive (Very Wet!) in Portimarin

      October 26, 2023 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 57 °F

      Today we left Sarria and walked to Portomarin. We didn’t take as many pictures today because it was pouring almost all day!

      Sarria is the beginning spot for the last 100 km of the Camino. To earn a compostela, you have to walk at least 100 km or ride at least 200 km. So a lot of people begin their walk here. So we saw a lot of be people and heard a lot of new stories. We saw a child and a dog in a raincoat out there today!

      Here in Galicia there are a tons of cows and many rural houses have these little structures called horreros. They are grain storage buildings that are elevated to keep rodents out, but they looks like little crypts. Or luxury dog houses. Or…well when you’re walking you get to exercise your imagination making up what you think horreros look like they could be used for!

      We saw long horned cows today and a few goats.

      We have been seeing “our purple friends” all over Spain in more mountainous places. They’re these purple bulb flowers like little tulips. We can go for quite a while without seeing them and then they’re back! Like Camino friends who we don’t see for days or even weeks and then there they are in a
      church or at a bar drinking coffee!

      When we got all the way to Portomarin, we crossed a long bridge over the river and then encountered a steep staircase. It wasn’t as bad as it looked but it was not a welcome sight. I read before we came that Portomarin used to be right on the river but when a dam was built downstream creating a reservoir, the residents disassembled the old town rock by rock and reassembled all the buildings up the hill. They must have decided that all the new buildings would be white because even from a distance you can see that Portomarin is an all white town!

      We crossed the official 100 km to go marker today too. Pretty cool! Some Australian Camino friends walked up just then and we took turns taking pictures with the marker!
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    • Day 5

      Day 1 - Sarria to Portomarin

      September 28, 2023 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

      I'm finally here. After all those years of thinking about and planning for a Camino; it's finally happening. There were so many of us pilgrims along the Way in the morning, and I have to be honest, it was a little intimidating. Then we got to the 800 year old oak tree, which was described by a friend, when he did the Camino, and I realised that I am just one of the cogs in a very large machine, i.e. we are all in this amazing thing together, and then I began to relish in my very small part of it and welcome the presence of those around me. After a delicious lunch, the crowd seemed to thin out, and I was able to walk alone and relax into the experience. Tonight, our small group was able to celebrate mass in the church at Portomarin (I mean, we had the place all to ourselves) - a church that was established in the 1200s. How awesome is that? And even though I only needed to obtain 2 stamps on my credential today , I ended up with 9! LOL.Read more

    • Day 4

      Arrived in Portomarin

      October 25, 2023 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Rained all day but no wind so quite pleasant. Walked for just over 22k very green quiet countryside
      Old churches still standing although most not in use. Quiet walk only a few other pelligrinos which is what those who are walking the Camino are called. Very well signed even I didn't get lost although I did check my position on Alltrails app. I'm glad I've had hiking experience...I had not prepared enough because the trip all happened so quickly
      I've been able to appky some principles which I think helped...start slow and pick up speed as you settle into a pattern, keep hydrated and blood sugar level up rest at intervals....I was very glad to see the town of Portomoran ahead. Any deep and meaningful (D&M...from now on) insights. I thought about the medieval women who have walked this path. We are usually presented with images of male pilgrims but women did as well. Other than that, enjoying the freedom of walking alone in such stunning countryside. Tired but got through Day 1!
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    • Day 31

      Etappe 26 - Portomarin 2

      October 12, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Nach langem, strapaziösem Weg in Portomarin angekommen.
      Die letzten drei Kilometer bin ich den alten Pilgerweg entlang der Straße gegangen. Der neu angelegte Weg ist ein sehr steiler Hohlweg. Vor diesem wird schon im Reiseführer gewarnt.
      Habe gleich ein Zimmer in der ersten Herberge bekommen, obwohl laut alles ausgebucht ist.
      Nun gerade noch einen kurzen Ortsrundgang vorgenommen und eine meiner absoluten Lieblingsspeisen gegessen: Pulpo!!!
      Jetzt gibt es nur noch eines: Beine hoch!!!
      Gerade kam mein Australier, Patrick, unverhofft hier an. Nun ist Englisch wieder absolut gefragt, zu dem er noch Amerikaner mitbringt.
      Gerade hat Joe aus Österreich angerufen. Er war heute in Santiago de Compostela in der Pilgermesse und holt sich morgen seine Compostela. Massen an Menschen in der Stadt. Er fliegt morgen nach Lanzarote zu seiner Frau und erholt sich von den Strapazen.
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    • Day 7

      Sarria-Portomarin 22,5 km

      July 14, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      Sarria til Portomarin var 22,5 km drømmeetappe i forhold til de to siste. Nydelig turterreng og varierende vær, heldigvis ikke regn.

      Som forventet, mange mennesker, gikk ikke alene en eneste meter. Endelig framme og klar for en liten siesta 🙂
      To be continued..
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    • Day 42


      October 11, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Day 38 - Yesterday I had gotten a bit wet in the rain and my shoes had gotten completely soaked! So in Sarria I found a pilgrim equipment shop and looked for shoes similar to what I was wearing. I didn’t find those , but I found a pair of comfortable Keen sandals. I wore those today and they seemed to work fine on the slopes. It was another beautiful walk today, about 14 miles in my brand new Keens. Initially there were hoards of people - because remember I told you that a lot of people join at or near Sarria ? So I walked really fast to get ahead - practically running at times. This paid off and about 6 miles into it I was able to pass most of them and find a wonderful cafe for lunch - a cafe that didn’t have lines. Then stopped in Vilacha, the village just before Portomarin and had a beer at this really cute villa with a courtyard. The owner is Italian and this is his summer home and he runs a bar-cafe. In the winter he lives in A Coruña, a coastal town. I’m quite fascinated by people that have moved from other countries to Spain…and at the same time it amazes me that more people are not moving here. 😀
      Oh and I forgot to mention that it’s my birthday today and my two friends Ginny and Steve took me out to a fancy dinner. They also got me a gift - a silver chain and pendant with a Camino shell. ( Yes Anand, I did get an unexpected gift).
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Portomarín, Portomarin

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