Day 24 // Sarria – Gonzar // 30.4 km

I don't really want to think about the end of this journey, but yesterday evening had me thinking all kinds of thoughts. When I'm home, where will I go when I wake up? What am I going to do? Who am I going to be? I still have time to figure that out. 

I slept in today and woke up an hour later than I should've. Breakfast at the hotel makes me happy. I got some sandwiches and fruit for the road and I am ready to go. 

Since I have experience with auberge's being full I decided I should ask the hotel clerk to call the auberge I was planning on staying at tonight to book me a bed in advance. He said he was super busy and to wait 5 minutes for her co-worker to get here. Some guy next to me heard it and said he'd do it. He called and booked me a spot. I have to get there until 4 PM or they'll give it to someone else. Don't tell me there aren't good people in the world! 

Since I slept a little too late I can't take too many breaks today. 

When I exited the city I was shocked. I saw not tens of pilgrims but hundreds of pilgrims! The city of Sarria is the last city to start your journey if you want to get a certificate. My hotel had a full bus of tourists staying there too (sorry, I can't call them real pilgrims), who left their big bags in the bus and are going from the big city to the next big city (around 20 kilometers a day) and are only staying at hotels. They're either wearing their party shoes or wearing teddy bear backpacks.

img 5739 2

They yell and sing (poorly): 

Viva la (something)
Viva la Sevilla
Viva la (something again)
Viva viva viva!

UGH! I want to cover my ears and scream. I can't hear my thoughts. To get by them I need to put in extra effort. I am basically running to get away from this madness. 

The little villages have the souvenir stores there. There are also people on the path selling stuff. Where is the wonderful Camino which I enjoyed so much yesterday? It makes me want to cry. 

I reach the first bar and there's no free spots. The line is huge and the saleswoman is basically in tears because she's there all alone and struggling.

img 5724 2

I remember when yesterday I was sitting at a bar ALONE and ENJOYING my breakfast.

Now I understand the pilgrims who walk all the way but do the last 100 kilometers by bus. Or the man I met yesterday who said he'll try to do the last 100 kilometers in 2 days. 

I don't want to listen to these crowds so I get my earphones and put on some music. This hasn't been something I do much on this journey since I really want to listen to the nature - forests, rivers, birds, animals. And speak to them. But music is helping today. I can't hear anyone. I am enjoying with my eyes and nose. Smiling! 

After a while I saw a sign that amused me. And I learned that I am not alone.

img 5735 2

Every single person who has done so many kilometers, fought through the pain, fought with their mind and their body is disappointed by this mess. 

It is so tiring to keep apologizing to everyone you try to pass because everyone here is traveling in packs. And stopping in the middle of the road to take photos. 

And at this point in the journey, you only hear Buen Camino said to people who have really been through all the kilometers. You can spot them easily - the size of their bag, their tan, limping, the state of their shoes. 

I walk up to a small church. It has a beautiful garden.

img 5730 2

I got my stamp and took a look around. Tourists pop in for their stamps and run off. They didn't even take a look around. Why are they here?

I got to get away for a bit. And I reach a monumental sign.

img 5731 2

100 kilometers until Santiago. Unbelievable! They probably won't be the most beautiful kilometers, but I really hope that when the afternoons hit that tourists have already reached their destinations for the day and I'll get to be alone again. And I'm really hoping on the Finisterre road. The book says: “The way to Finisterre truly follows the road less travelled and that may make all the difference”. Yes, please! 

The last days truly have been the dog days. Here's another cutie who walked towards me to get a hug from me. I am not saying no to that! Dog's happy, I'm happy.

img 5727 2

I reach Portomarin. A very beautiful town. And since I haven't seen a lot of water in Spain I really am enjoying this.

img 5747 2img 5743 2img 5745 2img 5746 2

To get into the city, you have to get up this.

img 5744 2

I was so happy about the beauty of the city I got lost. I can't see the signs. The book says to go back to the bridge. As I do. All the signs I see are showing the way into the city. I lost 30 minutes and added 2 kilometers. Turns out, it was a different bridge. 

When I got back to the right path I realized I am alone. Thanks God! I am alone for a while now and I got a little worried about not being on the right path. 

But I am enjoying the peace and a beautiful forest.

img 5749 2

And huge pine cones. Some of them were almost as big as my head.

img 5753 2

It's nice to see the beautiful views in the distance, but isn't it also nice to not know where you're going? Gate to paradise?

img 5752 2

The last couple of kilometers I ended up walking through some heat. I walk through a forest that apparently has just stopped burning, you can actually still see a couple of trees still with smoke. I didn't know if that was on purpose. That made me a little uncomfortable.

img 5756 2IMG 5757

I made it to the auberge on time, but everything seem so unfamiliar. I was around people I didn't know every evening, but this time was different. Everyone was in their little packs. I got lucky and a lady from Germany - Anete, started a conversation with me. We spent the evening together and had dinner. 

Tonight was the first night I really wanted to go home. 


Continue Reading