Thursday, July 9, 2015

CISVAAA Camino Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Day Four: Triacastela to Sarria

Our walk today was shorter, only 18.5 kilometers, which meant that we arrived in Sarria in the early afternoon. We began the day with cooler temperatures and much of the path was shaded.  It was only entering Sarria that we encountered full sun.  We walked a beautiful, peaceful path today, through chestnut woods and past fields of lush crops. We were able to take the time to enjoy the different colours on our route, from the wildflowers that grow along the sides of the path to the lovely garden roses to the different hues of green and brown of the cultivated fields. We were able to experience the full spectrum of colours today.

We see familiar faces all along our route now, as all of us head in the same direction with the same stops on the journey. It is tremendous to feel a kinship with our fellow pilgrims: from those who stay in the albergues to those who stay outside; from those who travel alone to the families who travel together. As we said previously, the Camino means different things to different people.

Sarria is a bigger place than we have encountered in the past few days. It has been inhabited since ancient times and its present incarnation grew up around El Camino. The city grew and developed through the quest to serve the pilgrims passing through on the way to Santiago.  The devotion to El Camino is evident in the city, with murals and statues dedicated to the pilgrim and to Saint James. The restaurants offer menus for the 'peregrinos' and the citizens offer welcoming smiles and greetings. As we walked through the city, we felt the history of the Camino.  As we walked down the Escalinata Maior, the grand staircase in the centre of the city, we knew that we were walking in the steps of centuries of previous pilgrims. We walked on stones that were hewn in the shape of the feet of centuries of pilgrims taking our same steps. We are but a tiny clan in the entire history of pilgrims who have walked this journey of Saint James. What a privilege.

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On our way!

A mural dedicated to the pilgrim.

Iglesia de Santa Marina


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