Day 31, Thursday, May 9: Triacastela to Samos –with detours and a bit of exploration around Samos (17.9 km, 11.1 miles)

This can be a simple, straightforward report for today. As you can see from the mileage above, it was a short day. Planned that way so that I could arrive early in Samos, site of “one of the largest and oldest monasteries in the western world founded in 6th century on the asceticism of the Desert Fathers, taking the Benedictine rule in 960.” Wow, that’s a mouthful. And from my guidebook because if you’ve been following me, you know that even I don’t write sentences that long. Or do I?…

The day began with a startling realization: it had been a quiet night in my room. Six of us? Seven? And no snorers, sneezers, coughers. Just respectful folks with good control of their sound emissions. Alleluia! We were quiet as we packed up. I was still one of the last ones to leave, right around 7:30.

At the far edge of town one has a choice: head right towards Sarria or left towards Samos and the monastery, adding 6.4 kilometers. You already know which route I choose.

The rest of the walk, once I headed to the left? Its story can best be told with the photos (and videos?) that I’ve sent home and that Regina will so kindly add to Facebook and/or to this post.

There weren’t many people encounters today–a former Columbian who has lived in Ft. Lauderdale for the last 18 years, and Tom, from Wisconsin, with whom I spoke at some length before the monastery tour began–nor did I spot any flocks of sheep or cows to admire. However, there was the slug with whom I had a nice little conversation. And the hen. And the cat, though he was skittish and didn’t have much to say. We all were heading down our Camino today, each with a different purpose and speed, but we acknowledged one another’s right to be there in whatever capacity.

And the birds, of course. They don’t let anyone keep them from singing. Joyous and glorious. Ever-present. (Still MIA, though: my cuckoo…)

A different river today. We’ve left the Valcarce behind and moved on to the Oribio. Like its Galician sister, the Oribio was loud and talkative and animated, creating a show of her rock-hopping and ledge-dropping. A pure delight.

Center-stage, though? Taking a bow left and right and center: the trees. Well, the path and the overhanging trees which flanked it. It was such a familiar feeling to be hemmed in and shaded by trees. They weren’t, of course, Indiana trees, but they acted in a similar manner. And at their feet, the ferns, bright and brilliant, nodding in the mild breeze.

Fitbit claims I climbed 93 floors. Yeah, I guess there was some climbing, but through the “woodlands” I barely noticed. I was too busy looking.

Did I miss the howling wind of several days ago? I was fine without it. That was then; this was now. The fury and the calm both had their turns.

Did I miss the rain? Well, yes, in one meaning of the word “miss,” I did miss it, or we missed each other. Again, as was the case yesterday, it didn’t begin to rain until I arrived in Samos. And mostly it didn’t begin in earnest until I arrived, toured the monastery, secured lodging, ate lunch, took a walk, and got back to my albergue. I showered inside while the showers began in earnest outside. Curtains of light rain pushed at a significant angle by the wind. It’s nice to be inside, and with a heat register I can operate on my own.

I’m in a private albergue recommended by Ginny who was here about a week ago. I’ve been told that someone named Stacy is going to share the second bed in this room, but seeing that it is almost 7:00 pm, I’m thinking that maybe Stacy’s plans have changed. Whatever, alone or with a roommate, I suspect I’ll get a good sleep tonight.

As I said earlier, the photos and videos from today tell most of the story. If you don’t see any posted, check back later. If not today, soon. Regina to the rescue.