Day One on the Camino

Such a buzz in the hotel lobby! Groups from Ireland, the U.S., individuals from who knows where – all heading out. We left late, about 9, luckily with a few other stragglers so we didn’t get lost immediately. Before we were even out of Sarria we found a small shop and were able to buy our scallop shells to hang from our packs. Probably looking a bit dazed, we started off on our estimated 6 hours of walking…about 24 km or 15 miles.

We meet a few interesting people who walked along with us for bits at a time. A Brazilian woman named Leila who fell way behind her guided group; we stuck together until she found her guide and he took over carrying her back pack for her. An accountant from the UK on his first solo trip. And a crazy student group from Ireland who made me glad I’m past the teenaged years. Too much energy and no time to notice what’s around them! Oh and there was an adorable Italian student who was doing the entire 700 km in about 25 days. We were on our first day of six, yet he expected to be in Santiago in just 2 days. Let’s say he was pretty fit and eager.

But the important thing is, we made it to Portomarin! No blisters, but some sore feet, aching IT bands (that’s me) and stressed knees. The 6 hours of walking was pretty spot on, but we dilly dallied some too. Some small shops along the way, and a nice lunch on an outdoor patio where everyone took off their boots and socks, and  small dogs searched for tidbits under the tables..

Once in Portomarin we braved the steep stairs and found our Pension. Our room is on the 2nd floor, which in Europe means two flights of stairs…. We did come down again for time on the patio and dinner- but no one was going back up for anything forgotten. Once we climb those stairs again that’s it until morning.

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