Day 19: Triacastela to Sarria (Sept. 28)

The End of the Camino as We Knew It Is the Beginning of the Camino for Thousands

Glory, hallelujah–we woke to warm, dry boots and no rain in the forecast with supporting physical and visual evidence out the window. As I mentioned, part of our routine every morning is to double check the online weather report. We also had what we came to call The Arm or Body Part Test.

To conduct The Arm or Body Part Test, one opens the window (Spain doesn’t believe in screens) or, if we are blessed with a balcony, one opens the door to the outside. Next, stick an arm or other body part out the opening and report to your roommate what you feel and observe. Optional information to share is what the tester herself has decided to wear based on the experience.

For instance, “I’m going to wear my Holy Long Sleeve and pack my Safari Shirt.”

Yes, We Nicknamed Our Clothing

Holy Long Sleeve: “Holy” as in it’s made from fabric full of tiny holes by Lululemon. A great base layer that is air conditioned when the breeze blows. Or, sans breeze, when you flap your arms fast enough in the shade. (I’m wearing my white one today, but not as a base layer.)

Sexy Long Sleeve: Also by Lulu, but I couldn’t find the link. Donna and I each have one in white, and we tried not to wear them on the same day. It got dubbed “sexy” because the inside of the sleeves and parts of the back have a sheer white inset. NOTE: Once you strap a backpack over it, or any shirt, it’s not sexy. At all.

Safari Shirt: What we bought for our Safari in February. Long sleeve button down, usually the outer layer. Donna is modeling hers today.

Next to Nothing T-Shirt: Should be self-explanatory. So light-weight and in pastel colors, I bought (and brought) three. And now they’re sold out at–you guessed it–Lululemon. (I’m wearing one under my Holy Long Sleeve in today’s pix.)

Olivia: We have identical rain coats from our previous Camino. Why “Olivia”? Donna and I were fans of the TV show, Scandal. Olivia Pope, the main character, had a coat wardrobe we coveted. This was as close to her style as we could find at REI.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog post. On this, our 19th day, we were delighted to conduct a full body test because our breakfast was being served out the door and about 150 meters down the street at the albergue’s restaurant/bar. Plus, given the disappointment, despair and discouraging words invoked by the previous day’s soggy, cold surprise, we wanted to be fully informed, emotionally prepared and appropriately dressed. The short walk gave us all the data we needed to layer up and pack our day packs for surprises, AKA rain and/or wind.

The skies were still clear after breakfast, and we looked forward to seeing the mountain ridge scenery and forest that were hidden from view by fog and rain the day before. Did I mention that the day before was wet, cold and miserable? Yeah, probably.

The scenery was, indeed, spectacular as we hiked up and down the ridge, making our way down, down to the city of Sarria.

Our morning selfie in the Wizard of Oz talking tree forest. No apples were thrown. (Note holes in my Holy Long Sleeve shirt.)
We were walking above the clouds today, not IN the soggy, misty, miserable clouds. Our destination is down there, under cloud cover.
And sometimes you’d get a Pilgrim passing by to take a posed picture. Note Donna’s Safari Shirt and the charming accent of a buff, which was also purchased for the Safari. Not pictured is my buff, which is identical to Donna’s. Flashback to travel store: “Hey, Donna, the packing list suggests a buff. I’m buying one now. Want me to get you one?” This is how we roll. And shop.
There it is, off in the distance: Sarria. This is the city about 110K from Santiago. In order to get your Compostela, you must walk at least 100K. This would be the last segment for us, the first and only segment for thousands of people who start their Camino in this city. We had no idea how much this would change the Camino experience for us.

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