I hit the trail this morning just as about 100 high school age kids were starting off. Since 100 kilometers is the minimum required for pilgrims to receive the “compostela” certificate, Sarria is a popular starting point. In general, the Camino takes on a different character in this latter stage; more crowded and commercial.
Had a relatively easy walk today from Sarria to Portomarin under mostly good weather conditions. I met up with one of my Camino pilgrim friends, Felix, along the trail, and we walked most of way together. Significantly, we passed the 100 kilometer marker indicating that we are now only about 60 miles from Santiago de Compostela.
My destination today is Portomarin is an interesting town along the Balesar reservoir. In the 1960’s, a dam was constructed across the Mino river creating the reservoir and forcing the town to be relocated on the hills above. Most of the historic buildings, including the fortress-like church of St. John, were moved stone by stone from the original location. The result is a town that feels both old and new at the same time.
Was able to meet up with Felix and Rosemary for a nice dinner tonight featuring some of the region’s specialty dishes…octopus and broiled green peppers.
Off to Palas de Rei tomorrow; only four more walks until I reach my goal of Santiago de Compostela!