Leaving Sarria, we cross the old, stone Ponte Áspera bridge and pass another
interesting sweet chestnut tree, gnarled and picturesque.
Here is another sweet chestnut and a newly plowed field.
On the left, Doug finds some shade on a day that will set a temperature
record of 30 deg. C (87 deg. F). On the right, Doug makes his way up the
center of the Camino, on stepping stones surrounded by running water.
Not far from the hamlet of Ferrerios, we pass the 100 km (62 mi) marker;
Santiago is getting closer! This was a big stop for all pilgrims to take
photos of each other and take a water break.
Video of Doug and Dave reaching the 100 km marker.
Interesting mosses grow on the stone walls on this stretch of the Camino.
More Camino icons. On the left is the Cross of Santiago, and on the right
is a symbol for Camino walkers. Later we will see a similar one for bicyclists.
Here we enter the hamlet of Ferrerios, named after the blacksmiths that
worked here (Ferrous = iron) years ago.
In the woods, along this stretch of the Camino, we first started hearing the
European Cuckoo (Culculus canorus) which spends the cold European winter in
Africa and migrates to Europe in the spring to breed. They are very loud and can
be heard for over a mile. They also repeat their familiar song for a half hour
or more at a time. To hear them, click here
Makes you wonder, when do they get time to do anything else, like eat?
Views along the stone wall, including nice flowers shown on the right.
[Photo on left courtesy of Krisztina Galambosi, pilgrim and friend]
We would see many of these grain cribs, called hórreos, set up on mushroom-like
stones to keep vermin out. They have a highly stylized construction.
Dave with a fellow pilgrim from Germany, on left, as we approach our destination,
the town of Portomarín, seen off in the distance in the photo on the right.
Here is the modern bridge of Portomarín. A dam was built in 1962 on the rio Miño,
forming the Embalse de Belesar reservoir. Many of the original town buildings
were moved to higher ground. The orginal bridge, of Roman origin, linked the
Knights of Santiago and Knights Templar with the Knights of Saint John. The river
formed a strategic boundary and consequently this area has had a turbulent past.
Composite photo of where we cross the bridge, with Portomarín on the other side.
Doug looking back across the bridge from Portomarín side.
We stayed the night in O'Mirador Albergue, built 1-1/2 years ago. What a great
location with a porch overlooking the reservoir! A modern bar and restaurant
provided nice cold beer and food after a hot day's hiking.
We first met some pilgrims here who would become close friends by
the time we reached Santiago. We met Rolf (German) on the porch, and that
is Willy (from Dublin, Ireland) in the photo on the right.
The remaining part of the Camino was all about the lasting friendships and
memories we shared with our fellow pilgrims!
In the center of town is the 12th century Church of San Nicolás (sometimes referred
to as San Juan or San Xoán (in Galego) because of its link with the Knights
of Saint John. The two gals on the right are pilgrim friends from Denmark.
We attended Mass here; it was supposed to start at 7:30 PM, but the lone priest
didn't open the door until 8:00 PM, and Mass didn't start until 8:30 PM.