On the Road Again!
Today we began our Camino, which is called the Camino Frances - it originates in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, and ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Our route covers the last 100 or so km, and we began hiking early this morning in the town of Sarria.
The first portion of the hike led us through the town, across a bridge, past railroad tracks, and up a fairly substantial grade, ending in a stunning field of sunflowers.
The morning fog lasted until around 11am, which was a real blessing, as, once the sun came out, it got quite hot.
There were a lot of hikers, but we also had a lot of times when we didn't see anybody. The locals we met along the way were so hospitable, especially this older hombre, who came out to hug us and wish us a buen camino.
The path wound through beautiful scenery, with forests, fertile farmland, with stone walls, farmhouses, and villages. Along the way, we got our camino passports stamped at various albergues and churches.
We spent the last several hours hiking with Ruben, an electronics engineering student from Madrid. He didn't know much English, so we did our best with our limited Spanish. What a nice guy. At one point, we passed a farm, where the family had a table of drinks and snacks set up for all of the Perigrinos, which is what the pilgrimage hikers are known as. Delicious fruit, and they insisted we try their homemade tortilla (which in Spain is a potato and onion omelette), and fill our water bottles.
We ended, sore and tired, in the beautiful hill town of Portomarin. I guess our Marin vibe follows us around the world.
We owe a real special thanks today to our great travel agent, Karie Whitman, who, along with the local agency Tee Travel, helped locate Amy's suitcase which never made it here from Bilbao in time for us to start our hike, and had it brought to us by cab along our route. They also arranged a well-organized trip, with lovely lodgings, which means a lot after long days of hiking.
Now, thanks to the miracle of modern technology, we're listening to John Miller call the giants/cubs game, and just heard Hunter Pence's home run! We get an early start tomorrow to begin the next step of our journey.