Walked 31.5 km, 6 hours 56 minutes
Ascent: 540 meters
Descend: 400 meters
Kilometers to be traveled: 86.7
Yes, a room for 4 all night for me alone. So no problems with snorers, turners and early risers. Then you think you can sleep long and undisturbed, on and on until the alarm goes off, unfortunately. It is not in my structure to go to bed early, even after more than 4 strenuous weeks of being busy outdoors. You are tired of the efforts but somehow the biological rhythm of my body is stiff to change.
The alarm clock should go off at 6 am, but yes, as is often the case, I am already awake before ringing. Take it easy I don’t have to hurry, I have all the time. No need to take anyone into account, since it is empty in my room. If I am caught and packed I could leave, but in the kitchen a couple is busy making breakfast. So I’ll take the time here to also use something from my supply, I can walk on later. They offer something from their breakfast, which I kindly declined.
A quarter to seven I am on the street and I can start my 32nd walking day. I’m going to stick to my new schedule now, so for today I will walk to Gonzar, a small place with a municipal and private alberge. I’m curious what time I will arrive and if there will be a place. I walk up the Maa rua to leave Sarria. I pass quite a few restaurants and bars where the weather is quite busy with pilgrims taking their breakfast. At 1 bar I see an old acquaintance, Victor the Spaniard, standing. We greet each other for a moment, he invites me to have a coffee, but I thank you kindly. I say that we might meet again on the route, since he uses a fast pace.
So I walk on alone, the sun is not yet visible through the cloud cover. It is not raining, but it is damp. Upon leaving the alberge I prepared the poncho for “just in case”, should it really start to rain. And yes, I can hardly leave Sarria behind if the poncho can and should be on. The drops become thicker. It is also busier on the paths, as actually expected, I have often remembered.
The paths go up and down, wooded or grazed, along fences and bushes, through villages and not through villages and …….
Na-na-na-na-na-na, naa-naa-naa-na-naa-naaa-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na ……
There it is again the tune of yesterday. I haven’t heard it all day after walking and sleeping, but now it’s turning up again. It’s a bit disturbing, I’d rather hear something from EW&F or Genenis in my head than this tune. I think it’s time for a coffee break. So stop at the bar along the way for the usual recipe. It has been a repeat prescription for a long time, but the pharmacy is always a different one.
When ordering it comes to a chat and when paying is asked if I also want a stamp in my credential, from now on I have to stamp twice a day, a must to receive the compostella: walkers must have 2 stamps in the last 100 kilometers collect per day. When people see my credential and they see the stamp of my last alberge in Sarria, she asks if I have spoken to Julia. This was the young woman who registered me at the alberge. Julia is her sister, she said, coincidence that I was taking a break here.
If I continue, it is still an obligation to put on the poncho, it is still raining just as hard. So on in my orange robe and nice and striking. After a few minutes, someone taps my shoulder and starts talking to me in very poor English, Victor. As expected, he caught up with me. We get into a conversation and he tells me what he has experienced, that he has stayed in Sarria for a few days and that he still wants to be in SdC on Friday 15 June.
He is also interested in the other 3 with which we have walked and where she and I will spend the night. I briefly inform him that I have been running solo for 2 days and that the other 3 may still be walking behind us and maybe spending the night in Portomarin. I say I want to walk to Gonzar to sleep there. He wants information about this and does not yet know how far he will walk. We walk together for a while, but then I still have to let him go, his pace is a lot faster than my pace.
Now it will be exciting … after……
No, I still don’t know which tune it is, but I come to the column that says it’s only 100 kilometers to SdC. A milestone on my journey. We are going to make it, if nothing happens, so keep walking cautiously etc. Some pictures made and also for others and then on. Not much behind the 100 km column I pass a farm where there is a sign outside with an invitation to make use of the donativos that are displayed. also in Limburgish. After a very short stop and a donativo, I walk on and I suspect I heard Limburg talk from the house….
It goes downhill again, so walking is not so bad, on to Portomarin. For Portomarin you can choose from 2 routes to the town, I decide to turn right. To reach the city you have to cross a bridge that is part of the reservoir. In the wiki you can read that there are still remains of the old city at low tide. The most important church was demolished brick by brick and rebuilt in what is now Portomarin. Walked into the town via the usual road and then walked a short tourist route for snapshots.
Also have lunch in this town, near the place where the stairs end. Also take a moment to view the route that I am still going to walk, because I think I will come to another junction. Lunch is a large bocadillo with egg, the stomach is full. I’m getting ready for the final leg of today, on to Gonzar. I don’t see the place where you can make the choice for the route to be chosen, so I just follow the columns that I do see. After a short descent and passing a bridge, another climb arrives, through wooded area. It is quite steep, but again not too steep.
I also come back on a mini meseta with grain fields. At a house there is also such a typical Galician corn storage. The path starts running again along the main road and suddenly you arrive in an area where a forest fire has raged before. The trees that are still there are black and little or no vegetation on the ground. Suddenly I see something lying on a hill on the right. Is it a wolf or a bear, that is what it initially looks like. But when I get closer, I think it’s a Spanish mountain dog that is sleeping. there are also 2 others sleeping. I’m not going too close because you never know how they react.
The trail continues along the road and I approach Gonzar. It is no more than a small hamlet along the main road. On the outskirts there is a new building that turns out to be the alberge. It is already open and I can register. I get a friendly explanation about the ins and outs of the inn. When I have chosen my bed and start the usual installation, I come across the 2 other pilgrims who have already arrived. 1 is a woman from the Netherlands, only the 5th or 6th person from the Netherlands that I meet. The other man who is praying is from Israel. He was praying his morning, he told later. Because of his early start, before dawn, he couldn’t do it sooner.
The Dutch woman is visually impaired and also goes solo to SdC. She often finds it difficult to stay on the right footpath. She cannot always find the arrows and columns that indicate the direction. I’m going to do my laundry and shower again. The alberge fills up pretty quickly, especially when a group of young Spanish people with a disability arrives. All beds are occupied before 5 pm. It is time to eat, the evening meal a bit early today.
But before dinner just walk through the hamlet to see what there is to see: farm, farm, alberge private, farm, restaurant. So far the tour through Gonzar. Now dinner, a menu del dia for a change with red wine. It is simple, tasty and cheap. The stomach is full, so what more does a pilgrim want? Going to bed, writing and editing and going to bed tomorrow is another day that will bring us a bit closer to SdC. We are in the last 100 km. Ooh yes, I almost forgot but still now: Na-naa-na-na-naa-na, naa-naa-na-naa-naa-na-na-na-na-na-na-na- na-na-na-na-na…
Accommodation: Albergue Peregrinos