Camino de Santiago, Camino Frances, pilgrimage, Spain

September 29th, Day 28: Triacastella to Sarria: ‘No Last Goodbye’

The Way out of Triacastella.

Despite going to bed at 1:00 a.m., I am up and awake at 6:45. I anticipate a tough, long day. I get up and get dressed and wait for everyone in the foyer of the albergue. Ramon and I sit chatting, almost as if we never went to sleep. I feel surprisingly ok. Maybe this wine has fewer sulfites, I tell myself! I do feel sad though, as this is our last day walking with Gill. He has been elusive about his travel plans, so while he will walk with us to Sarria today, he hasn’t told us if he will leave tonight or tomorrow morning.

The others walk on and Gill, Ramon, Tammy and I stay put at a local cafe for coffee and toast. We set out after breakfast and regroup with the others shortly into our morning walk. We are a group of nine leaving Triacastella.

Our last day walking as four.

The morning walk is damp and the skies are threatening, but it’s like a beautiful New England Autumn day. The leaves on the trees glow yellow. We are in the countryside now, low stonewalls surround farmland, and little rivers amble by. A cool, low hanging fog surrounds us, but the rain never comes.

We expect to stumble on a countryside pub, one where you walk inside and a fire’s burning and something warm is baking in the oven. This is our wish anyway, but we succeed in finding hot food – a plate of spaghetti – to tide us over and warm us up.

The afternoon turns warm and the sun makes an appearance, and the walk is easy and effortless. We listen to Gill’s storytelling. Tammy and I ask him about his Camino and his thoughts and feelings on returning home, but we don’t get many direct answers- just more stories.

Kyle and Jesse with their Magnums

We walk on to Sarria together. We find a picnic bench where we stop and wait for the whole group to arrive, and then we cross the town of Sarria, We come to three flights of stairs on the other side of town, which we know we have to climb to reach the older section of town, and to eventually leave the town. At the foot of the steps is a gift shop, where I pick out a new heavy, well made poncho to replace my tattered yellow excuse for a poncho. It’s Gill’s parting gift to me. We climb the steps and find a nice, new albergue on our left and we check in here, get cleaned up, throw on laundry and head to a small hole-in-the-wall cafe for vino tinto.

The afternoon is like many others. We sit, relax, sip vino tinto and decide where we will go for dinner. . Tammy sets off to find a new pilgrim passport as hers is full, and Jesse and Kyle search for the coveted Magnum ice creams.

Our crew at dinner in Sarria.

We head to dinner at a small Italian restaurant near the outskirts of town. We are missing Dima and Keren, but we’ve adopted a couple of new pilgrims into our fold.

Gill, Tammy and I and our vino tinto.

It’s a treat to order something other than a pilgrim’s meal, and we treat ourselves to Italian pizza and a couple bottles of chianti. When those are done, we order more Italian wine. The host loves us. I sit next to the wine cabinet, and when one bottle is finished, I just reach for the next and give the him a nod. He just replies with a smile. I like the way he keeps a tab.

We are here well into the late hours of the evening, singing, dancing, drinking and reminiscing about our Camino. I look at my watch, knowing that Gill won’t make his train, but the next thing I know, Tammy and I are walking back to the albergue. Gill is gone, his bag is gone, but his train has already left, hasn’t it?

We head to bed. Surely he wouldn’t have left without saying goodbye. I’m certain we’ll see him in the morning and have a chance to say one last Buen Camino.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like