Day 23 // Alto do Poio – Sarria // 33.2 km

I realized this morning that the Camino has already planned everything out for me. If I had been able to get the bed in the first try, I would not have slept in such a beautiful place and met such wonderful people. Instead of that I would've spent my night with a huge crowd and would not be as filled with emotions as it ended up being. Probably. 

I would miss out on a chance to see the sunrise on a mountain.

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As I was drinking my morning tea I was afraid that a sunshade would fall on me since the wind was so strong. At least it's warm. 

I started my journey today in the middle of a country side. I'm passing barns. The animals are waking up. It smells. 

I would really like to meet the person that decided to make this sign out of feces to ask him - WHY? There were plenty of signs not to get lost.

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I left a note for my wonderful friends from Romania who are somewhere behind me. But I hope we'll still see each other in Santiago.

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Since I got done with extra 10 kilometers yesterday, I have a plan to get to Sarria and use the opportunity to stay at a hotel today. It means I don't have to rush anywhere since I'm guaranteed a bed tonight. Actually it is starting to feel like hunger games. So many people have been walking the last 100 or 200 kilometers, because they give you the Compostela (certificate) if you've done at least 100 kilometers or biked at least 200. It feels a little overcrowded so it's kind of losing its charm. The peace. The feeling of no worries. But at least today I'll enjoy my day without rushing. 

I stopped after 8 kilometers to get breakfast. They brought me two huge pieces of tortillas (traditional Spanish omelette with potatoes)

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I ate one and realized I have no room for the other one. I thought I'd ask for a bag to pack the other one for the road. But then out of nowhere a pair of paws and a head of a cute dog pops out. If the plate was a little closer to him I think he wouldn't even ask for permission.

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We finished the second piece together. Ok, he had most of it.

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The dog suddenly jumps and runs to the stairs, because a herd of cows is passing the cafe. There are shepherds and two dogs. One of them is very small and not doing anything, the other one is doing work and helping control the herd. For a second he stops to say hi to my new friend. And I'm just sitting there at the VIP table watching the whole show. 

Since yesterday I have been seeing signs that say how many kilometers are left until Santiago.

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When I see this number it seems as if it's a walk on a beach comparing to the total kilometers I've already done. Counting today, the book says I've done 700 kilometers, but the numbers on my watch say it's 760 kilometers. 

Today I'm walking down the last high peak of the Camino. So escorted by the warm winds, I walk slowly and am saving in my memory everything I see.

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When I reach the next big village I decide it's time for a cold Coca-Cola. Yes, I have been drinking a lot of it here. But when you're walking and drinking so much water, then when you sit down to relax you want something cold and sweet.

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It's noon and a Korean girl starts a conversation with me. After a little while I see Mateo whom I met earlier and they all are already making their stops at the auberge. What? I've only done 13 kilometers, I am not in a rush at all. When I say I'm about to do 20 more kilometers they seem surprised. But what are you supposed to do at the auberge so early? Ok, you can meet people. Or just sit at the bar. But it's not for me. I keep on walking. 

As I was leaving the city I realized why they were already done for the day - I haven't checked the weather forecast and it is VERY hot. 

I have two choices - a path over the mountain or a path around the mountain with extra 6.5 kilometers. I chose to go over the mountain with hopes of seeing more beautiful views. 

There were not really any views. But I did see a cute little church which was also an art gallery. I see the artists glasses and paintbrush. But no artist.

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There are also no people here. I probably saw only 6 pilgrims and a couple of locals in the villages. No one is around, everyone is hiding from the sun. 

It is around 40 degrees outside. I feel good, but my skin.. I'm trying to cover everything I can.

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Looks crazy and that's exactly how it was. The water in the bottles gets warm in 15 minutes. And there's no opportunity to switch it out often. I'm drinking it warm. Later in the evening I realize that the sun has gotten through my leggings. Can it go make some other country warm? 

When I got to the hotel I got a message from my friends:  

When they say Camino is Magic… Is true! We were walking on this spiritual path, with love in the hearts and you in the mind… And suddenly 4 guys on the bike scream at us: Sorry! … We got on the side, and exactly where I stopped I read on the stone your message!!! The Universe is truly connected with us and that is *Magic*

Thank your for sending us messages from the future #CaminoSister 

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That's Camino - sweet, full of surprises, breathtaking and for sure - unforgettable.

For inspiration: 

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