Route: Triacastela – Sarria
Distance: 18+4 km (Total: 633 km)
The decision to spend the night at Triacastela turned out to be a good one. We enjoyed the hospitality of local people, a nice albergue Xacobeo, and to finish the day overhearing a singing cashier at a local supermarket.
I was just doing some small shopping to enjoy the evening with Henry and Juan over some snacks and wine and suddenly I hear a beautiful voice in an empty grocery store. The female cashier probably assumed she was there by herself. One word in the text of the song she was singing was particularly prominent, i.e. juntos, which means together, but in a Galician version, i.e. xuntos. This is the second Galician song I have been trying to learn recently.
There is one more benefit of staying in Triacastela. It rained all night long and got a bit warmer. As a result there was barely any snow left the following day. According to the forecast, however, we were supposed to be walking in heavy rain to the next place.
All kinds of signs in the city reminded us that Santiago is only 130 km. Leaving the city we could choose between two options, one a bit longer and along some busy roads, another one through beautiful countrside.
We turn right then.
So far the morning is surprisingly pleasant. Here and there rays of sun break through the clouds. Gradually I remove layers of clothes as we start ascending. It did not look like heavy climbing but altogether we gained 400 m in altitude.
Juan, whom we met a few days ago on the way, turns out to be a funny companion. He comes from Barcelona. This is his third pilgrimage to Santiago. I like his umbrella. It might be a bit dangerous in case of stronger gusts of winds. On the bright side, we will then have a male version of Mary Poppins.
The rain intensifies with every minute. I feel something is leaking on my back but I continue marching. I am well warmed up so nothing bothers me. The distance to Sarria I walk non stop.
The landscapes are very agricultural. Galicia reminds me a bit of New Zealand.
After reaching today’s desitnation it is pretty evident that it lives from pilgrims. There are quite a few albergues, but most of them closed due to low season. It is here, where a lot of pilgrims start their journey to Santiago. All it takes is to walk 100 km to be eligible to obtain finisher’s certicate, so called Compostela.
Many of those pilgrims use a special service that even carries their luggage from one site to another.
Meditation XXIV. Grace
Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last
Lk 13, 30
The morning dew on the lush green brought in me an association with undeserved Grace, that has been bestowed on me.
The Bible is full of stories of marginalised peope, who get specially favorable treatment by Jesus, such as the good villain on the cross, Samaritan lady, Mary Magdalene etc.
So again everything is upside down.
The problem with Grace is that one has to be open to receive it. Cooperation is needed. Then Graces flows in streams like the rain today.