Day 23: Sarria to Portomarin

Yes, the exit from Sarria was most unique. We pilgrims who have carried all of our necessities on our backs for the past month were quite (pardon the pun) taken aback by the number of “day hikers” now joining us. A “day hiker” is one who walks the Camino, but has their backpacks/luggage sent ahead via taxi to the next town in which they will spend the night. The low price of 5€ per transfer is quite tempting to Mikey and Frank, but we fight the urge to “cheat.”

 This is now a common sight on the Camino. Due to the Compestella’s 100km requirement, many have joined in on “our” Camino. Frank and Mikey have alternated in complaining about the new arrivals. 

It is mostly a question of what denotes a true pilgrim. Must he walk 500+ miles like we are attempting? Does sending ones luggage ahead disqualify her from true participation? What about taking a taxi for a few kilometers towards the end of a long day? Are bicycles really permissible? What about hiking sticks? For the record, we do not regularly use our poles. Frank has utilized his mostly for balance during a few tricky river crossings and Mikey has opened a couple of wine bottles with his (don’t ask!) Still, we continue to mull over these questions as we come into contact with “non-traditional” pilgrims. 

On a positive note, the scenery today has been truly amazing. We will not trouble you with captions for the next few shots – just enjoy as we did. 

 
  
 
    

Following a full day of natural beauty, we began our descent into the town of Portomarin. This consisted of a wooded downward hike followed by a bridge crossing and an upwards climb into the village.   

Frank navigates some pretty intimidating and extremely slick rock stairs. 

 We entered the town via a modern bridge spaning an eerily calm river. 

Remember how we descended through the woods? Thanks, Portomarin, for the climb back up! Jerk. 

In the middle of the Plaza Mayor sits the romanesque “fortress-church” of Saint John. 

Much more reserved is its elder neighbor, the 11th century Church of Saint Peter. 
Never fear, Mikey’s here (to find the town still!) We are unsure concerning the history and purpose of this monument, but are sardonically pleased with its prominent placement near the town center and parish church.  

“No, Santiago, those are not spirit fingers- THESE are spirit fingers!!” Hey, it’s not everyday that Mikey can instruct a saint on the finer aspects of … never mind. 

It seems that our days grow shorter as we near Santiago de Compestella. The weather has again turned against us with rain in the upcoming forecast. Still, Mikey will try to document as much as possible without waterlogging his iPhone. Oh, that’s one for you: if you didn’t realize it before now, all of our pictures are taken on either Frank or Mikey’s iPhone 6s. Additionally, our posts are composed on said phones without the use of traditional spellcheck (software issues). As for timing insofar as our posts are uploaded, we are often delayed due to lack of wifi. These are not excuses for delays or lack of quality, but are things many readers simply did nor know. Well, now ya do! Thanks for following us still and buenas noches!

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