Sarria - The twelfth step ... Three months in Spain - CycleBlaze

May 12, 2022


The dormitories in the albergues in Galicia have been full of coughing and sneezing pilgrims.  For some reason, in this region, they cram all the pilgrims into a single dormitory and keep the others locked.  For example, if an albergue has forty beds spread across four dormitories, three will be locked and they will squeeze ten pilgrims into a tiny space.  To my way of thinking, not the best COVID management strategy but it does mean less work for the hostelaro.

I felt off colour for the last three days and we have stayed in private rooms at albergues since then, not being sure whether I had the dreaded lurgy or not.  We have a private room in an almost empty albergue in Sarria (two other prilgrims) and likewise have one booked for tomorrow night.  Thankfully I am feeling fine again which is just as well because we have a climb of over a thousand meters tomorrow.

Today's ride also started with a big climb, only three hundred and fifty meters but much of it over ten percent.  This is Galicia after all.  Cornwall and Devon have nothing on this place.

Leaving Portomarin - the castle-like reconstructed church visible in the top right.
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Part of the way up the climb. Portomarin seems so far away.
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Once at the top of the climb the rest of the ride was business as usual with a nice downhill into Sarria.  We have a matrimonial (a private room with a double bed) in a quiet albergue.  We are now on the "wrong side" of the hundred kilometers to Santiago that is needed to be covered to be awarded a compostela.  Thank goodness.  The number of pilgrims have dropped dramatically and so have the vehicles couriering backpacks from albergue to albergue for those "pilgrims" who find it a problem to carry them themselves.  I have been singing the praises of Spanish drivers because they are so courteous to cyclists but yesterday I was twice forced off the road by servicios de mochilas or backpack service vehicles.

A sign in the kitchen at our albergue. At least the English and German match up. What they actually meant was "don't leave the water running while you soak the pots".
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The other two pilgrims in the albergue tonight are a very pleasant French Canadian lady and a Spanish speaking guy who I have heard but not yet seen.  They have the whole dormitory to themselves so hopefully there will be limited risk of spreading diseases.

Today's ride: 28 km (17 miles)
Total: 1,644 km (1,021 miles)

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