Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy….(John Denver)

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I touched on this a little bit yesterday but I will elaborate a bit more now. In order to recieve a certificate of completion of your pilgrimage to Santiago called a Compostela, you need to have walked at least the last 100km from Sarria (or 200km for cyclists). So there are usually more people that start from Sarria than any other place on the way. Why you ask did we start in St Jean Pied de Port in France then? Well this is the most popular full Camino going, commonly known as the Camino Frances, and we just liked the idea of walking across the top of Spain.

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So with our later than usual start this morning (7.45am) we came across many more walkers than we have ever seen. There were day trippers with very small backpacks struggling up the first  hill; school groups of teenagers who seemed to stop at every shaded area to sugar-load for added energy; some familiar faces of weeks ago; and then there was the four of us passing more pilgrims than normal.

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Goodbye Sarria

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Leaving Sarria

The day was beautiful and sunny and the mood jovial especially when we reached the 100km to go mark. As I was waiting for my friends to come, I became everyone’s official photographer as camera’s were given to me at an alarming rate. There were also more albergues and cafes to sit and relax in. Lets face it, this is the business end of the trip. We were still passing through working farms with cattle and goats on the menu today but the Camino has changed again and entered the final stages.

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More graffiti than normal.

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A bit more commercialism than usual.

We reached Portomarin (22.4km) at 1.30pm, booked into a private Albergue overlooking the Belesar reservoir.  The approach over the bridge is linked with a steep staircase of 46 steps which was once part of the medieval bridge over the river before they built the dam in 1962 and flooded the basin. A great place to relax tired and weary feet on a hot sunny day.

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Portomarin

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See the road behind the portal.

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4 thoughts on “Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy….(John Denver)

  1. How does it feel suddenly being thrown among the commercialism? Ok we have seen a fair bit of it already, but by the sound of it, there are huge changes from Sarria onwards. I am really enjoying the camino although I admit I am doing it easier than you with booked accommodation, but I am also older than you (just trying to justify my luxury :)). This is such a wonderful experience and adventure. I am sorry I won’t meet up with you but I have loved following you all the way. Enjoy Santiago in a couple of days. I am looking forward to getting there. Tomorrow I will hit the high point on this journey. Sending a fond hug across the internet to a couple of fellow pilgrims.

    • Thankyou Lene.
      It does feel a little stranger after Sarria. Certainly a lot more people but it is nice to share in their first day excitement as well. There did appear to be many more Albergues than in the Brierly book and Portomarin has a few more tourist shops but we are making thost of our last few days. We should be in Santiago by Saturday with all our crowd and everyone will be at the Sunday mass where hopefully the buterfumorie (? Spelling as can’t get my book out) will be swinging. Enjoy the mountains 🙂

  2. Do you feel like all those doing the last 100kms as their journey are “cheating” a little bit haha? Almost there now – is the excitment building as you now see the light at the end of the tunnel? (And yes, you are right, it is not a train.) Ash arrives tonight so I am very excited!!! Keep up the awesome walking – you’re nearly there. I can only imagine how you are feeling. Lots of love and prayers xxoo

    • No, that’s their camino experience. Good on them. They are also the ones with the first day aches and pains.
      Say hello to Ashlee for me 🙂

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