Day 8 on the Camino was going to be a breeze, the path looked relatively flat and the rain had finally stopped. We took our time getting ready, and it seemed our pilgrim friends had the same idea. As we made our way back on the Camino, we saw lots of familiar faces. Looking back on my Camino experience, this day seemed more significant. The next day would take us past Sarria, where the majority of pilgrims start their Camino. This would be our last day with our small crowd of familiar faces.
The start of the path took us through a beautiful wooded area. It slowly climbed up, past the small town of San Xil and reached its peak at Alto Riocabo. We met a lovely older lady from London, Ontario who had excellent stamina for walking uphill. We took turns passing each other, before we lost the crowd on the steep downhill through the forest. We also met a lovely couple from Spain who had been doing sections of the Camino for years, they would mark the end of this years Camino in Sarria.
After emerging from the forest, the path flattened out. We started to hear the grumble in our tummies. It was almost lunch time and we still haven’t eaten breakfast. We missed the first bar at Furela, and the next one was at Casa Ines which was 5 km away.
By the time we reached Casa Ines, it was busy with hungry pilgrims. We sat outside and relaxed for a bit. We were surprised to run into Claire from Australia. It seemed like ages had passed since we first met her at Murias de Rechivaldo. We ran into her shortly in Ponferrada, and on the way to Villafranca, but we hadn’t seen her since then. It was comforting to chat with her again.
We finally managed to get a seat in Casa Ines, and we stuffed our faces with omelettes and platos combinados. Everything tastes better on the Camino!
The rest of the path wasn’t very memorable, it took us through the outskirts of Sarria. We saw more and more people going about their regular day. There were plenty of joggers to greet us ‘Buen Camino’.
We finally made it to Sarria, where we felt city shock once again. The upside was shopping at a proper grocery store, where we replenished our snack supplies. More importantly, while grabbing a snack at ‘Meson O Tapas’, we met a father and son duo from Texas sharing their first Camino. The father was a well of knowledge. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have known that once we reached Sarria, we had to start collecting 2 stamps for our passport each day. The Camino really does provide! It would have been quite a shock if we got all the way to Santiago, and were not able to get our Compostella due to some missing stamps!
We chatted with them for a while and realized we had all started our Camino in Leon. They were doing the Camino together before the son goes away for his studies. Sarria would be their stop for tonight, however, we decided to move forward to Barbadelo. It was a beautiful day, and we still had some energy left. The Camino took us past the city, and through an ancient woodland forest.
The sky was bright blue by the time we arrived in Barbadelo. We stayed the night at the guesthouse, 108 to Santiago. The guesthouse was gorgeous, it was clean, modern, and the beds were very comfortable. It was one of the best night’s rest we had on the Camino. The following day would take us past the 100km marker to Santiago.
108 to Santiago: Address: Rúa Santiago do Mercado, 108, 27600 Sarria, Lugo, Spain; Price: 50 euros for a triple room with shared bathroom; Website: http://www.pension108tosantiago.com/es-es/
The guesthouse does not offer dinner, however, the albergue next door is a good dining option