Day 5 September 18

For our entire pilgrimage John and I have kidded about “staying in the moment” so we can maximize our enjoyment of whatever is happening. That said, today marks our one month anniversary on the Camino. And one week from today we will be in Paris with our wives, God willing.

Today we knew we would have a longish day because we had a fairly significant up in the morning and a 2+ mile downhill in the afternoon (which I do very slowly as my knees are beginning to show the wear from all we have been through). So we started just before daybreak at 7:30. Our first challenge was climbing multiple sets of stairs to get out of Sarria. I tried to get a picture but it was too dark. Shortly afterwards, we came across a cross that was visible against the sunrise.

I hope you think it is as attractive as I do.

It was then up some well marked trails,

eventually breaking into open country.

As expected, there were many more pilgrims, but around mid-morning we ran into Fr. Paul, our two Polish friends we  met our first day on the Camino (I think at one point I said I thought they were German), and the St. Mike’s graduate. Fun to reconnect with all of them.

Then the climb began.

Not too bad really, but for some reason my legs were feeling very sluggish today. Fortunately, John’s legs were doing fine.

This led to some pretty scenery in rolling hills.

We were also rewarded by a bagpipe player    playing by the side of the trail. Amazing how far the sound of a bagpipe carries.

We also passed the 100 kilometer marker (Santiago is getting closer!).

More pretty scenery…

Followed by the beginning of the long down hill.

This took awhile and John was good enough to join me in the breaks I took. If you look closely at the next picture you can see our destination, Portomarin, to the right in the background.


   Finally, around 4:00, we arrived, to find the only way to enter the town was to repeat the way we started our day…climb a set of stairs.

We are staying in a comfortable hotel, with a nice balcony and view off the main lobby.

Tomorrow is another big day. So to bed early.

Blessings to all.