Today we walked through Sarria, the most popular starting point on El Camino. In order to be considered a true "pilgrim", one must prove that he or she walked the last 100km of the pilgrimage by getting his or her "pilgrim passport" stamped at least twice a day. We always get a stamp where we sleep, so we just needed to remember to get a stamp or two during our walk. You can get stamps anywhere- churches, restaurants, tourist information centers, etc. Honestly, I wasn't very motivated to get my pilgrim passport stamped. My mom, however, started to get a little competitive collecting stamps. She was devastated when literally all the churches in Sarria were closed when we were walking through. Thankfully the restaurant we ate lunch at had a stamp.
Sarria is at the top of a hill. Turns out, the ATM was at the bottom of the hill. Too tired and lazy to walk down the hill to get cash, Mom and I decided to keep walking and figure it out later. I'm not sure why we thought everything would be fine with 20 euros to hold us both over for the next few days.
Starting today, we decided to push a bit further each day so that we could reach Santiago a day early. The bad news was that this meant we would not be staying in the larger towns or cities. We didn't realize how rural the towns could be until we got to Barbadelo.
When we arrived to Barbadelo, we accidentally checked into the municipal hostel, but we had already paid when we realized the nicer hostel was up the road. This mistake ended up being a gift because the money we saved by staying at the cheaper hostel spared us a few Euros so we could afford dinner. We ate a pilgrim dinner with kids from Canada, Lithuania and Germany. They started the trek on July 1st and were stuck in an insane storm. That same day, several people were air lifted out of the Pyrenees Mountains and they even had to start a fire and it was insanity. My mom and I have been insanely blessed with weather and basically everything in between.
A Trace of Grace
Notes from a trekking Mama
Rolling hills and woodland paths, a perfect trail day. Plus cows, horses, and sheep, oh my! Even the salad and perfectly made sangria for lunch had us feeling full and happy. Then there was the five hours until dinner in a town with nothing to do. Bored, we went up the hill to a pasture to sit in the sun, and much to my surprise, a mom and her pup were wrestling right there, providing excellent entertainment.