“Never give in, never give in, never , never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions off honour and good sense.”
Ramon “my trusted taxi driver” set us off on an early morning start to Sarria at 6.30am. Just my luck, Ramon went the wrong way and we took an extra half hour!
During the ride I could already see, in the dark, some peregrinos on the move and to think that i would be one of them was already giving me pre-camino jitters. Finally when we got there, it was a matter of finding the start which eventually ended up being a column of steps which, looking from the bottom led no where.
But it did, once I was up at the top, I was on my way and it was just a matter of following the yellow arrows, simple…and no I did not get lost, surprisingly.
The trek was a wonderful mixture of countryside paths, roads, hills (plenty of them) etc. with the occasional stretches of manure everywhere. To be expected I suppose in the countryside but “refreshingly natural”. I should also mention that this first stage has been hard and a very demanding initiation. So hats off to all those who have made this stage.
The weather was gloriously sunny and with a lot of high cloud around, so you can imagine the state I was in having started off dressed up to combat the Arctic freeze! But anyway I got here in time, after almost six hours with very few breaks.
This is something I am going to have to reassess because I ended up knackered and I may have to take it easier. All the training I did has seemed pointless because I felt drained ; absolutely drained.
Now, while resting in the hotel everything so far has been almost surreal and yet as real as it can be, to be out in the open with only your thoughts to accompany you and the occasional “Buen camino” uttered by other peregrinos who pass you by.
This first stage has ended in Portomarin, a quiet and wonderfully restful village nestled in the Galician countryside. A definite must for anyone seeking a placid and restful stay.