Wednesday, October 18th 2017

A Hotel in Sarria

We made it over the second of two mountain ranges on the route to Santiago. We were struggling and I mean struggling up one particularly difficult section on a road and gasping for breath when we heard the plop, plop, plog of a jogger. Yes, a man well past his prime, possibly nearly my age, jogging straight up the mountain. We were inspired to plug on. The views from the mountain tops are spectacular and our walks are accompanied by the buzzing of the bees in all the flowers, the tinkle of cowbells, and the songs of birds. I think I even saw a wolf one morning in a deserted section.  We have seen lots of skinks; ugly, ugly huge black slugs; an eagle; many, many storks; and a great variety of other birds and butterflies.

We took a bit of side trip to Samos yesterday. It is a famous monastery, dating from the 6th century. A nice walk along the river to get there past groves of wild foxgloves and huge shade trees that must have been hundreds of years old. We were disappointed in the monastery since it was refurbished in the 18th c. in ugly Baroque. We stayed in the pilgrim hostel there which turned out to be a mistake: very crowded and noisy. We attended vespers where the monks do Gregorian Chant, but with an organ accompanying the monks, that missed too.

We are bit worse for wear, but no worse than many of the other pilgrims. We are in a larger city today so we are staying in a hotel. What luxury. Our own WC and privacy.

We wish we had more Spanish or at least another European language. But we manage and people are very kind. Looking for the hotel where we are staying we went astray, and one man in a car with his wife and child, stopped and got out and gave us gesturing directions. Thus we manage with the kindness of strangers.

My Internet is coin operated so I will close. You are all in my thoughts as I pray with my feet on the road to Santiago.

Phyllis the Pilgrim

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