Aguiada – Portomarin (Gonzar)
21.51 | 443.10 miles
+2,692 | -2,514 feet
Oh my, what a day!
I enjoyed the solitude before arriving in Sarria as it may be the last I get. The crowds were unbelievable coming out of Sarria. Not just people, but large groups. I once needed to fly the red eye from San Francisco to Chicago because I was beginning a week long intensive course at 8:00 am Monday. On my flight was a middle school group going to Washington DC. I felt like I was on that red eye again today.
It took a few miles to walk past some of the big groups. I was ready for a break but didn’t want to get behind all these groups again. When I did stop, I spent more time standing in line for a cup of coffee than I did sitting and drinking it. I bought a KAS limon to bring with me for lunch.
Since I had a sandwich packed, I stopped in a quiet spot to eat. We had just passed the 100 kilometer marker, where I had taken a picture of a French couple. They came by as I was eating, and the man offered to take a picture of me.
It was difficult not to be frustrated by all the people. Many walked in large groups and some played Bluetooth speakers. I felt my pilgrimage is over and now it’s just more of a hike. When I felt frustrated, I tried to think about friends reuniting to walk together, families having an adventure, people who had planned for years to do the 100 kilometer pilgrimage, and those who had walked segments of the Frances for years and were finally making it to Santiago this year.
As in meditation where you might have an itch, a noise, or discomfort while you practice, I tried to acknowledge the crowds and accept them – without judging them as anything but that they just are. Sometimes, it worked, but it definitely made me appreciate all the miles thus far and the quiet portion of today’s walk.
One of those quiet portions was the 8 kilometers after Portomarin to Gonzar. I thought I had booked in Portomarin, but when I put the address in Google, it didn’t register. I assumed I remembered incorrectly (like yesterday when I was further east of Sarria than I thought), and I was staying in Gonzar. Few people continued after Portomarin, so I enjoyed the quiet trailway – even though it was very hot and I hadn’t planned for a 21 mile day.
When I arrived at Albergue del Gonzar in Gonzar, they had no room for me. My reservation was at Albergue Gonzar in Portomarin, which I had walked right by an hour and a half earlier. I shared a taxi back to Portomarin with another couple. Well, my day tomorrow will be shorter.