Portomarín to Pasal del Rei. 25.1 km / 15.6 miles.
Today is brought to us by the letter M.
M is for Morning.
The first three hours of the day remain the best. The crisp air, the bright stars, the moonlight seeping in between the trees … top if off with a fresh strong coffee, a snuggly black cat and a sunrise over the hills, and you have one helluva start to a day. I hate waking up. But I love these mornings.
(Sidenote: I love this photo. And partly because it also shows off Guy’s satchel. M is for man-purse. 😁)
M is for Missing.
While we had a great day today – the morning, as I mentioned, was spectacular, and the miles flew by – something felt a little off. And it took me a little while, but I finally realized that some of the magic from early on is missing. And from what I can tell, there are multiple explanations.
For one, the number of people on the trail has multiplied. There are at least four times as many, and they are more business-oriented on the trail. Before, not a person was passed without a wide smile and a genuine wish of “Buen Camino.” Now, maybe an exchange will take place, maybe not.
For another, the towns we are staying leave a little something to be desired. Sarria seeming “a little rough” is more norm now. The cities are newer and busier, the buildings and accommodations bigger and more boring. After so many fairytale villages with winding streets and stone walls that tell stories, the town stops have, admittedly, been a let down. And after walking 15+ miles, you just don’t want to be let down!
And then, and perhaps of most significance to me, we have seemingly lost our bubble. We saw Sullivan briefly yesterday, but that is about it. No Dales or Ricks, Carols or Steves, Dougs or Pams. We are still on the Camino, but I feel lost in a sea of pilgrim strangers. The sense of community is missing for me.
M is for Mystery.
We have two of them for you to solve:
1) What is this?? Many homes have them, and many are more ornate. Most all feature some sort of cross on the top. My suggestion was some sort of old crypt. Dark, I know. But so is some of Spain’s history.
2) What is Sully saying?? He has been saying this for months. In all kinds of settings. It sounds like “dow-way.” Which sometimes seems like “that way” and sometimes sounds like “Jo-ey,” one of our cats. But neither of these make sense all of the time. Reward for solving this one – we’re stumped.
And with that, the countdown to Santiago is on. About 42 miles to go, and we are feeling strong!