Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Moving Onward to Sarria!

Change of plans on the pilgrimage. Last night I had a great evening with Bela from Budapest, who happened to share my room at the Alburgue (pilgrim inn). Bottoms of his feet are all blistered. After talking to him, and people knowledgeable about the el camino de Santiago, I´ve decided to take a bus today from Villa Franca to Sarria, which will get me within 100 km to Santiago. Why? Physically, I won´t be able to enjoy the camino AND be on pilgrimage. It is more up hill than I knew, and I think it is more important to spend time with people, seeing the sights, and enjoying Spain than barnstorming the el camino. If I kept up the pace I was at, it would be barnstorming Spain and not seeing the sights and talking to the people...and all the action is on the way when sitting for coffee, over dinner at night.

I met the couple of women who saved my feet, which are better today. I had a great conversation and walk with two women from France and the Netherlands, who happened to be at a small bodega on the side of the camino in the middle of an apple and fig orchard, with tomatoes as big as your fist being cut up, with fresh cheese slices. This is the camino! And the conversation between English, Spanish, French, and German at the bodega was great.

In order to be a true pilgrim of Santiago, or a ¨schnell pilger¨in German-fast pilgrim, you have to walk the last 100 km. That´s what I am doing!

Pilgrim peace, Brett

4 comments:

Dean said...

Brett,

It is great to read of your experiences along the pilgrim way! Though I am not envious of the blisters, I am positively envious of the "unexpected" treasures you are finding in the beauty of the country side, the new friendships and interesting conversations, and the invaluable stretches of quiet pondering and spiritual reflection. Travel on with joy, good pilgrim!

Adrianne said...

I had horrible blisters on my feet after Scott's and my day in Boston this summer, mostly due to the fact that I was breaking in new chucks! Silly, I know, but I had no better shoes.

Anyway ... it sounds like you are having an amazing time and I'm glad! I'm jealous of all the interesting people you're meeting and getting to talk with. That's a very important aspect of traveling and all that it encompasses, as I know you know. Blah, blah, blah! I love you and I hope your feet heal quickly! I have lovely marks on my heels from the blisters from Boston, though they're healed. Love, Adrianne

Jim G said...

I know your pain my friend, and I suspect I've had some of the same thoughts as you reconsidered your journey and moved on to Sarria.

Sarria: great Galician restaurant - look for shell tilework on the sidewalk.
The name is Galician (looks sort of Dutch, really).

The walk out of town is on the West side, I think. Very nice and shady in the morning, lots of mist. You'll pass a nice little stream soon.

One of the more agressive climbs will occur a couple of miles outside of town. VERY steep. Use your walking stick.

Streams with rocks Delightful country.

If you get this message before you set out, please stop if only for a moment in Ferriros(sp?). Small town - a few farmhouses, a church, a cemetery, and a small albergue with an attached bar/meson. Stop for just a moment, walk back to the albergue, and then walk away from the building, up the small hill, and take a look around. There is a kind of purplish heather, low rolling hills, and farmland. Glorious. I met Ramon in Ferriros and he tended my feet, and I realized why I was walking.

Portomarin is the next big town. You'll walk along a river that feeds into a lake, and then cross the lake by bridge. On the other side is the old staircase that led into the city, which used to be in the valley below before they moved it all before the dam was built that created the lake. The albergue is right off of the square. There is a great church in the square. There is also a nice hotel up the hill away from the lake on the left hand side of the town, if you want to stay there. Even if you don't, seek it out for the restaurant that has excellent pulpo.

You are in our prayers, Brett.

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