Sunday, 18th of November 2007 at 03:19:55 PM

My Camino Day 3 (Sunday June 3 2007): Sarriá - Portomarin - Portos (~44 km)

The night in the 30 bed sleeping hall was one of the better ones. Relaxed and with new energy this days hike started for me  6.30 a.m. It was still dark outside.


Leaving Sarriá on sunday morning 6.30 ; June 3 2007.

After the spontaneous decisions of the first two days I had no plan how far to walk today, cause my original hiking plan was outdated already twice. So I had only a rough goal: Make the traditional stage from Sarriá to Portomarin (around 24 km). I was so lucky this morning to have my warm fleece pullover with me, cause I had made long pros and cons about necessity of this warm pullover in a June Hike in spain.  This day should remain foggy , cold and wet until 12 noon time, for a long 5 1/2 hours of hiking.


Pligrims in the fog.


Incredibly humid and cold .


After 4 km near Barbadelo I saw a couple lying in their sleeping bags in the wet fields. Was it like this if you weren’t succesful the day before to find a bed in an albergue. I could only imagine how uncomfortable that night must have been for those people. Their sleeping bag must be totally wet, no chance to dry it later on which means they have to carry it on, wet as it was. Never would I have slept there in the wet fields! But lets see where I will sleep the coming night. One of the thrilling experiences of the camino, was this uncertainty about the place to sleep which followed you on your hike. I had experienced it as extremly seductive to continue the Hike in the afternoon once having found a first place to stop the days Hike and to sleep. But more later on. This day was one of the best marked stages, I have seen yellow arrows quite everywhere.



And this is probably the reason why the business with the Yellow arrow camino T-Shirts is working fine. As a camino pilgrim you walk for hours just meditating and downplaying your pains. One remaining minimal brain activity is looking for the right path by means of the yellow arrows. This yellow arrow gets so burned into your thoughts that no wonder arriving in Santiago you must buy your yellow arrow T-Shirt. (I bought two …).  However, the hiking continued and due to the fog, cold and cloudy weather I don’t remember much of this morning beside arriving at exactly 12.00 at Portomarin.


Bridge over river Mino with view to Portomarin on the hill.


The stairs up to Portomarin. Weather still cloudy.

In Portomarin I got a credential stamp and had a bad lunch in some filthy tourist restaurant. Around 12.30 the sun came out and the cloudy weather changed to a beautiful sunny day. Although I had reached the minimal day target  (24km Portomarin) , the bright sun gave me new energy and I remember that I was keen on continuing the hike with my new day target : Hospidal la Cruz, another 12 km only. Hospidal was listed in the guides having a nice new albergue.  I put of my fleece pullover and continued the camino at around 1 pm. Impressive for me how much circumstances like weather can immediately change your mood. Having been tired, bored and indifferent the whole morning, the sun made me happy, energetic and receptive for nature’s beauty. Incredibly how quick it got really really hot. After 1 hour hiking in the sun I was sweating, my face began to get burnt from the sun  and I  removed the legs of my trousers. Definetly I am made for the sun: Dind’t care of sweating and my face burning, I enjoyed walking in the strong sun. What now became more important was supply of water. I had began to carry a half liter bottle of fresh water always in my hand, not touching the water reserve 1.5 l bottle in my backpack. I must admit I was not brave enough to drink and refill the water from on the way fountains, but I used to buy half liter bottles of water in bars. I wanted to avoid to come into a situation of needing restrooms too much. In fact in this three days I had only once got the necessity to use a non lavatory nature location for doing my big business.


Tired: relaxing at a picnic area.

On this sunny hike I met Matt from Kentucky and having not talked the whole day it was nice chatting with him. We walked together until Hospidal. He told me a lot of people he met during his hike and about his studies and his professional ambitions and that he travelled  a lot. Our pace was quite high, nevertheless it was afternoon. We arrived together with two Italian girls in the Albergue of Hospidal la Cruz. It was around 3 p.m. and the albergue was still empty and looked really clean and nice. But nothing around it, no bar or restaurant or shop. I was not sure what to do here the whole afternon until sleeping time, and I was still so happy of the experience of walking in the warm sun. So at km 33 (Hospidal) I decided that I would prefer to continue the Hike in the sun. With further two albergues in Ligonde (4km) and Airexe (6 km) I had quite enough possibilities in around 1-2 hours hiking distance. I continued my hike now without hurry, just enyoying the sun and the blue sky. Meantime weather had reached at least 30° Cel., the first summer hiking day on my camino. In Ventas de Varon I had a unhurried coffee and ice cream in a bar. The hiking speed now had changed to moderate and I just enjoyed the walk but recognizing that I slowly got tired. Painlevel was not too high this day.


Near Ligonde I see the first stone cross. Stone Crosses are typically  for the spanish region Gallicia, especially on the camino there are some to admire. But in Ligonde I am litle bit shocked to see that the albergue is closed due to restauration. So now a little bit nervous and speeding up my leisure walking I continue to Airexe hoping to not get surprised again there. Meantime its 5 p.m. The incredible really happens; a group of around ten 14 year old spanish pupil had already occupied the albergue in Airexe. No bed left. Now I was getting really a litlle bit panicy. I saw the image of the couple in the morning lying in the wet field. I asked for the next albergue, which was in Portos: The albergue a calzada. Of course now I was really tired (I had made already my 40 km). This would be my longest hike on the whole camino. Beween Airexe and Portos which was another 3 km I tried to speed up and even overtook three pilgrims, hoping of getting a bed finally. Arriving in the albergue la calzada I was so lucky. One bed was still empty. Without asking for the price I immediately checked in. When I got my credential stamp from the albergue owner, I notice: My pilgrims pass is quite full. I need to be more delicate now and not take every credential on the way, otherwise my pass is full before arriving in Santiago.


The sleeping place in the albergue de calzada looked like a big garage behind the restaurant. I didn’t care. It was clean and only 5 other pilgrims had place. After a shower and creaming my feet (it still was sunny)  I went to the restaurant and had a outside pilgrims meal composed of salad, meat, bread and most important a bottle of red wine.


Although the evening had been a little bit too thrilling, everything ended up fine again with a good eat and some red wine. The pilgrims in that garage were quite boring altogether. I had just a small chat with a spanish lady which was from Madrid. Funny thing she spoke spanish and I Italian and we still managed to understand each other a little bit. I dont remember too much, one I was impressed of was she told me that the Gallician dialect is so different from spanish that Galician people are not understood  if they talk in their dialect. Although this albergue was in the middle of the road and nothing around, this evening I was just happy having it made to find a bed and having had this nice sunny day.

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