Camino de Santiago Day 1: Arrival in Sarria
As promised, I am continuing the logging of my Camino journey through this blog. I am now back at home and thoroughly enjoying re-living my Camino memories through writing about them. Since the arrival of a long-awaited group of ladies in Sarria marked the beginning of a whole different kind of walk on the Camino, I have decided to start the numbering over and call this Day 1.
Already in Sarria, I woke up to messages from ladies at the airport. They had flown all night and were starting to land in Europe. Soon they would all be on flights to Santiago and headed my way. I knew they would all be exhausted, but I was giddy with excitement. Among the group were my mom, my daughter and my sister-in-law. Plus dear friends and dear-friends-to-be.
I went to the store and got snacks for their arrival, and I mapped out where I would take them in Sarria.
A shuttle met them at the Santiago airport and brought them to the door of the apartments I had rented for us.
They all filed out of the van. There was a mix of joy, fatigue, laughter and hunger.
We took turns going up in the tiny elevator to our apartments and then we gathered in the kitchen with local wine, cheese, bread, fruit and cured meats.
After an hour or so, in order to keep everyone awake and try to adjust for jet lag, we headed out into the streets of Sarria.
It was a gorgeous day. I had arrived the day before in rain and clouds, so I was so glad we had a blue sky day to welcome everyone to the Camino.
We actually walked about a mile of the Camino through town. (Getting ready for the next day!)
We passed churches and shops, and we stopped so that everyone could get a shell to tie onto their backpacks.
We sat on the terrace and shared a little about the travel so far. Folks were a mix of nervous and tired. Some could hardly hold up their heads.
But the food and drink from our friendly host revived everyone a little.
It was good just to be here. To have arrived.
After the long wait (and the previous year’s cancellation), there was amazement in this simple fact:
We’re in Spain!
And tomorrow we would begin our Camino!!
Actually we had already begun.
After dinner, we looped a little more of the Way that runs through Sarria.
And we gathered around the new sign they’ve put up in town.
The old medieval bridge that runs across the Celeiro River is the starting point of the Camino in Sarria.
Tomorrow we would cross this bridge like the countless number of pilgrims before us.
I pointed out the Camino marker that showed us where to go.
These markers would be all along the trail this week. It’s almost impossible to get lost on this section of the Camino as it is so well marked.
Then we gathered on the bridge for a group photo before walking back to the apartment.
Everyone showered to wash off the day of travel and fall into beds, hopefully to sleep until morning.
Luggage needs to be ready in the lobby at 8am, I told everyone.
I’ll have breakfast and coffee ready at 7.
Then at 8:15, we walk.
And so it begins.
9 pairs of feet starting off on a new journey together.