Day 23: Wednesday, June 17 2015 (48th wedding anniversary:-) Gorolfe to Sarria ( 9.5 km)

After yesterday’s trail blazing, today’s trek was almost “a walk in the park”.
Both Rod’s GPS and “personal guidance system” came into play. After wandering across country in very tall grass for a few kilometres we found our way back to a Camino sign. In some areas the yellow Camino shells or arrows are rare and evidently this is one of them.
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog how we have adopted the donkey as our good luck messenger on the Camino. At one point, when we were trying to understand the incorrect directions we had been given, which did not relate at all to where we were, a cowherd riding a donkey passed by us with his cattle. Before we could ask for his help, he was way down the trail. We followed that unlikely cow path for no better reason than the donkey ( which we are convinced is Martin working his way along the Camino).Anyhow, it turned out to be the right way!
Yesterday and today, we were in the hinterland of Galacia..The countryside is very beautiful—rolling hills and variegated green vistas as far as the eye can see. Sadly, there is a bleakness to this beauty because other than a few mangy looking feral cats there is scarcely a soul to be seen.
Galacia is said to be the poorest area of Spain. For many years families eked out a living with.semi-subsistence farming on their small plots of land. The advent of mechanized agribusiness made whole swathes of the country redundant and pushed young people to the urban areas of Spain and beyond. The current economic crisis in Spain has now had the opposite effect; young people are returning home as there are no jobs to be found in the cities. Many of them are trying to earn a living in tourism and specialized small scale agricultural endeavours such as bee keeping, raising ostriches,goat herding and cheese making. The return of young people seems to be the only hope for these abandoned villages.
Today was a short walk. It was our 48th wedding anniversary and we wanted to arrive in Sarria early enough to celebrate a little.
After checking into our hotel and tidying up we headed up hill into the old town and the Mary Magdalen Monastery. It is another of the religious sites built for Camino pilgrims in the 13th century. The mission of this Augustine monastery built by the Order of Mercy was to help with the release of Christians being held by the Moors.. They were considered less violent than their contemporaries, the Templar Knights and the Knights of St. James. The monastery remains active to this day with a school and an adjoining albergue for present day pilgrims. We had hoped to go to the monastery chapel but arrived as the public area was being closed. By happenstance we met the resident priest who was on his way to say Mass in town. He chatted with us in French. After learning that we were Canadians who had begun our pilgrimage in St.Jean, France, he allowed us to remain in the sanctuary with instructions to lock the door behind us when we departed. It was wonderful to have the chapel to ourselves for this time. We had much for which we each wished to give thanks. Also, Delana’s friends in her Kindred Spirits’ group were having their wind up gathering this evening and she wanted to light a candle for these special women in her life.. The understanding and kindness of this priest was another gift of a “Camino” moment.
Happily we headed to a nearby restaurant for dinner. It was perfect and somehow they knew it was our anniversary and presented us with an anniversary cake! It was a lovely surprise. What a grand day we had in Sarria, Spain!

Some days it really is
Some days it really is ” a walk in the park”
Beautifully carved doors, a common sight.  Between the handsome doors and the always present flower box display, even the time washed apartment can be so welcoming.
Beautifully carved doors, a common sight. Between the handsome doors and the always present flower box display, even the time washed apartment can be so welcoming.
Celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary
Celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary
The alter at the Mary Magdalen Monastery. All of those flowers are fresh, such a smell so sweet and cool, you could have been in a garden.
The alter at the Mary Magdalen Monastery. All of those flowers are fresh, such a smell so sweet and cool, you could have been in a garden.
And some days you can't see the forest for the grass. ' Anyone seen a Camino Trail sign ? '
And some days you can’t see the forest for the grass. ‘ Anyone seen a Camino Trail sign ? ‘
Slate is everywhere in this area. Imagine using meter wide slabs of beautiful grey slate for a fence! Interesting ( slate again) roof line on the house.
Slate is everywhere in this area, even used for farm yard fencing. Imagine using meter wide slabs of beautiful grey slate for a fence – they look a little messy because they have been there for decades! Interesting ( slate again) roof line on the house.
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One thought on “Day 23: Wednesday, June 17 2015 (48th wedding anniversary:-) Gorolfe to Sarria ( 9.5 km)

  1. great update! Looks like an interesting section – lots of variety. Great photos, keep them coming. In other news Greta was sprayed by a skunk this AM. She will never learn that dog. XO RS

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