CF Sola 19, Day 8: Sarria-Portomarin

How many favourite days can a pilgrim have? When I set out from St Jean in 2012, my companion had brought gold star stickers to mark her favourite days and ended up sticking them on each and every diary entry. That’s how the walk from Sarria feels. OK, so there might be more people on the road, but that is what it is – have a nice breakfast in town and wait until after 9 before you start bimbling along, and you’ll miss most of the eager early walkers. Then you might even get to photograph the bridge without people!

And the little brook … and the second favourite uphill …

… and the second lovely brook … and the tree tunnels … and the view of the fields as you come out of the woods before Mercadoiro … (which by the way was closed, both the bar and the albergue, I hope it was just temporary)

I met Piia again just before Morgade, where we stopped for a lovely lunch before carrying on together. It was one of those fun days where everything turns into a joke, and we couldn’t stop laughing when we saw this info board about the long-horned cattle – Harley Davidson cows!

The 100 km marker seems to have moved *again*, and at long last we came to the crossroads before Portomarín, where there are three options – two to the left, one easy and one steep which is now marked historico, and one to the right, which used to be the only way down towards the river. I strongly suggest you choose the path to the right, especially if it is or has been raining.

That left just That Bridge, my least favourite bridge of all time, because it is long and high – even more so if the water is low – and it is sooo tempting to look down to see the remnants of the old town, which was moved up the hill and submerged in the sixties. It was raining at this point, and the wind whipped at my poncho on the way over, but Piia and I walked and swore and kept each other going all the way across. Guess who got a glass of well deserved albariño afterwards!

I thought I was booked into an albergue I knew, but since I got it wrong the day before, I double checked. Turns out I was booked into one I have never been to before, and which was a lot better! The Mirador no longer has beds downstairs, but I did go and have dinner in their panorama restaurant. Just to look back and think, hah! I crossed That Bridge yet again! Go me!


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