The walk up to Cebreiro felt like broken glass, metal and pain, but the walk down from Cebreiro to Triacastela was all chocolate, marshmallows and pleasure. It’s amazing how quickly the landscape changes:
In Galicia they have very specific kilometre signs to Santiago and because of the closeness to Santiago I would assume that they are more or less on the bat:
Triacastela itself is a little town of little significance, and seems to only exist on pilgrim Euros. I popped into a supermarket in the town to buy bread and cheese and was ordered to leave my rucksack outside the shop and on the street, so I left the shop (outraged). I’ve noticed that the closer to Santiago you get the more commercial the way becomes and the less helpful people are in general; as a further example a Polish friend of mine in one village went to sit down on a bench to eat her lunch and was promptly told to get up and leave because it happened to be the property of the bar over the street. It’s also here that a lot of the Spanish pilgrim crew begin their Camino to Santiago in order to complete the minimum 100km to receive their compostela certificate – thinking it will help them in a job interview if they can prove they have walked the Camino de Santiago – and the amount of taxis in the town offering transport of rucksacks from point A to point B is unsettling.
Leaving Triacastela (the best thing about the town) you are presented with two routes:
Last year I took the left route towards the monastery village of Samos and this year I chose the same. The way begins out on a road route:
It then transforms into a gorgeous walking route which reminds one of a hobbits way in The Lord of the Rings:
Along this route though there are some very unsettling signs, which I definitely didn’t notice last year when I made this journey:
I finally reached Samos in the early afternoon. Samos is a village with a large monastery dictating the landscape and this year I planned to sleep at the monastery overnight before heading onwards to the town of Sarria in the morning:
There are plenty of restaurant and albergue options in the village but the donativo monastery albergue was something which I wanted to experience.
This albergue is located at the rear of the (Benedictine) monastery:
I handed over my pilgrim passport, got a stamp, and was then officially checked in at around 3pm.
They gave me a top bunk bed and I headed straight for the shower, after washing my socks and hanging them over the road in the area designated for this purpose. The shower was disappointingly powerless, with sporadic bursts of hot and cold water.
View of reception and some of the beds as you enter:
At the time of writing this post one of the hospitalero is a helpful Japanese guy, the other being a poker-faced local Spanish guy (who turned out to be helpful and friendly too).
Be warned that the albergue is very basic and that there isn’t really all that much to do in Samos. They do run tours of the monastery, but I didn’t fancy forking out the 3 Euro when I am a pilgrim. My only source of entertainment today was noting the various forms of the scallop shell dotted around the village and this scallop shell trash bin was my favourite:
In hindsight I wouldn’t have spent the time here overnight and would have simply spent my siesta time here before heading onwards, but if you arrive later in the day then it’s a good place to rest your head for the night if you don’t fancy walking on anymore.
The dorm room holds around 40 beds (bunk bed style) and the walls are tastefully decorated with painted emblems (post photo).
I’m writing this as I lay on my upper bunk bed on Saturday evening (June 21st: the longest day of the year) and I’ll update in the morning, over a coffee and (I hope) high-speed @ connection. I’m tired and I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep, despite the crowded nature of this albergue.
Update: I had a great night’s sleep, although apparently I was talking a lot in my sleep during the night and of course snoring. I made the walk this morning to Sarria and the great news is that there is a 3-day fiesta in the town which concludes today; I have 2 Euros left and I need to play for money.
Buenos dias! 🙂