Day 27: The Awakening

Some people have an awakening on the Camio, something to help push their lives forward. Have we been awakened? We cetainly awake every morning to beauty.


Galicia is known as the Highlands of Spain. Rain is common and the landscape verdant. We had a later start and a choice of two roads. Both would take us to the same place, Sarria, the place where many would start, as it is just a bit over 100 km to Santiago. Many start here to earn their Compostela. One would be 10 km longer and pass a monastery. The other, shorter and scenic. We chose the latter.


Up, up, up, then down, down, down. Alex soon joined, and we continued through the narrow paths, rocks crunching beneath our feet and dewdrops lacing our eyelashes like beads of crystal. On the crescent of one long incline, we met up with Nacho and Fabrizio, and off we went. Luscious trees knelt down, while cowbells rang in the distant. Perfection.


B went off ahead, nothing but the sounds of the birds and footsteps, while the rest chattered away. We stopped at a bar where a quick chat revealed an (yet another) Italian, Andrea, who recognized B from the train in St. Jean. We found Juan and Hema, and our family was complete.


A lovely breakfast snack of the best angel/pound cake, and we set off for Sarria. Juan, a kind-hearted primary school teacher with a 10-year old son, and B headed on, discussing everything from politics to family. Fabrizio decided to run downhill several kilometers…right.


We found a delightful place, Albergue de Pedra, which had a little stone house with eight beds on the second floor and a real bathroom and gathering space with fireplace on the bottom.
Our little casa perfect for our little family.

After some yoga on the street with Nacho and B and a proper shower, we found a still-open market (it is Sunday, and, well, the Spaniards don’t really open on Sundays) for provisions for dinner.


We then ventured to the highly recommended Casa Luis, a pulperia – place where they specialiaze in octopus. As we get closer amd closer to the coast in Galicia, the food and the seafood get better.

Cafe Luis serves three things: a meat dish, a darn good empanada, and the most amazing pulpo – octopus with olive oil and paprika. Even Z, not a huge fan of this animal, enjoyed it. Octopus is not easy to perfect, and this was perfect. Was this an awakening? Food that satisfies?


We ran into Vittoria and her boyfriend, who were looking for a place to stay, as albergues fill up quickly now that there are more and more pilgrims. Vittoria is a producer and she is filming a documentary of the Camino. Perhaps we will see a copy of it one day.


We then were forced to relax. What strange and fortunate feeling to have to relax, to have nothing to do but enjoy being and enjoy each other’s company. We found a public swimming pool, where for less than 2€, we sat by the pool. Kat and Z got into their bikinis and enjoyed a quick swim in the pool to even out their tans, while B was too lazy and wrote by the pool.


Two ice creams later, and we went back our little casa for dinner. Another simple, wonderful, tuna pasta by Fabrizio a smashing by Juan – nothing beats a homemade meal. We met two Italian women who are starting their walk tomorrow, making us feel rather weathered.


We heard that the sports complex was opening up to let overflow of pilgrims. From here on, we will need our passports stamped twice a day to prove that we have walked the entire way. As if our feet can’t tell the story.


Nonetheless, we are closing in the final days of walking. Vittoria asked today for her film if we have had an awakening on the Camino. We are not sure. What we know is that when we wake each morning, a new adventure, a new path, a new friend awaits. Is that perhaps the awakening – to be open and welcoming to what comes? Regardless, it will be strange not to be “forced” to relax, not to enjoy precious time with new old friends that become a family, not to walk among luscious trees every morning we wake.