6/15/17 – 29.8km/18.5mi from A Lagoa to Sobrado Dos Monxes.
Knowing that it would be very hot this afternoon, we all agreed to get walking about an hour earlier than we usually do, about 6am. The good news is that we spent several hours walking in crisp cool comfort. And also we’ve added Giovanni to the crew, bringing us again to a “Terrific 10!” As I mentioned in a photo yesterday, we’re calling him “Zio-vanni” (zio is “uncle” in Italian + his name, Giovanni). The bad news is, because of our early departure time, our crew was non-caffeinated for nearly 3 hours until we reached an open café/bar. Being the only open café on the road that day, we saw lots of familiar faces, and it was a nice atmosphere as tons of people that we had seen over the last few days stopped in or passed through. There is a polish couple, Roman and Katrina, who I really like, who we got a chance to take some photos with. And also, as we passed a poultry farm, I gobbled at a turkey and it gobbled back! If you’ve ever seen this video, you’ll know what I mean, and also why it was extremely funny!
Our destination was the gorgeous town of Sobrado dos Monxes, where the main albergue is a huge monastery with several rooms for peregrinos. I wanted the experience of staying there and so for a night I separated from my little “family.” I got to cook dinner and spend the evening with a great group of new folks. I had a great time eating, wining, playing games, and singing songs with this new crowd – all inside a building complex that was initially founded in the year 952, and which became a monastery in the 12th century. It was truly a special place, and it is always great to break bread with fellow peregrinos, familiar or not.
Another highlight of the day was yet another fun group photo op that we had been talking about for quite some time. After our “Abbey Road” photo, we thought of other iconic photos to take as a group, and we talked through a lot of options. Back in Vilalba, our hostel was selling custom made “The North Way” t-shirts – a play on the brand “The North Face.” Before the Camino del Norte merges with the Camino Frances, we wanted to make our mark and pay homage to Joe Rosenthal’s iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo from WWII. The flag is one of the 10 matching “The North Way” shirts (a play on The North Face) that we bought for marching together as a team into Santiago. The flagpole is 3 hastily-taped hiking poles! The original photo was a poignant moment in history, we were having fun while shooting ours – but it was certainly done with respect.