Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lugo and Sarria

I waited for Ivar Revke outside the Hospederia. He brought the box with the 20 copies of Camino Lingo which Paul had sent to Santiago for Reinette. We had a chat and then I called my friend Luis Angel (a Santiago taxi owner) to collect us at 10am to take us to the bus station.  He organised two taxis to take  the 4 of us.
The bus left at 11am and all the way to Lugo we could see pilgrims hiking on the Camino paths. It looks like the Camino is going to be very busy. When we arrived in Lugo we found the taxi rank, loaded our stuff into two taxis and told them to take us to the Hotel Puerta de San Pedro.  The taxi driver looked at us in surprise and pointed to a building about 250m away!  We told one driver to drive the Irish lady and our bags to the hotel across the road and the rest of us walked.

After checking in we walked to the 'gate' in the wall and entered the old city. The Lugo walls are the best preserved complete Roman walls in Spain and one can walk on the top, around the circumference of the walls for about 2.5km.  I got a message from Adrian. His Iberia flight was delayed by 9 hours and he wouldn't be able to meet us in Lugo after all.  He would catch up with us in Sarria instead.

We had a few tapas and drinks then walked to the church and had a look at the Roman baths where hot springs once bubbled up.  We returned to our hotel and decided to order dinner in.  The receptionist, a lovely, accommodating young woman, set a table for us and we phoned a nearby Italian take-away restaurant for dinner. Bob kept us in awe of his stories about his previous Camino walks and in stitches with his lovely sense of humour. After dinner we returned to our rooms and resorted our baggage.
In the morning we dragged our bags across the road to the bus station, bought tickets to Sarria and found the lifts to go downstairs to the platforms.  Our bus left at 12h45 and we arrived in Sarria half an hour later.

We found two taxis to take us to Pension Escalinata.  I had a small daypack with 4 bottles of Amarula and Mrs Balls chutney for Gordon Bell.  I gave one Amarula to Jose and when Gordon arrived, gave him the other bottles. Someone called my name - it was Janet who was sitting with her mother Pat at an outside table.  Not long after, that Adrian arrived. Our Camino Caracoles were all there.
 Belin arrived to take us to the apartments where we would stay for two nights.  Once we were all settled into our rooms - the guys in a room with an en suite shower - Reinette and I went down to the river and found a nice sidewalk cafĂ©-bar called 'Santiago' where we ordered different tapa dishes for lunch.
That night we went back to the Restaurant Santiago for dinner.  I gave each one a South African beaded badge and a pin as well as the little name magnets I had found in Santiago.  I then started the 'Breaking the Ice' discussion where each one in turn told us their name, what they liked to be called, where they lived, a place they might have lived before and when they had first heard about the Camino.  When it came to Adrian`s turn we listened enthralled as he told us about his extensive experience in the hotel world, living in many different countries around the world where he learned to speak about 8 different languages.  He and his Manchester born wife live in Costa Rica.
I told them that the taxis would pick us up at 8:30am to take us to Barbadelo where we would start walking.  we walked back to the pension, to our respective rooms, all excited about the start of our Slow Camino the next day.

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