Utter disappointment, the Samos monastery. Today could have been a short and pleasant walk for 18 Kms. The decision to visit Samos transformed the day into a long 25 Kms walk along roads. The monastery was dull and uninspiring and made no concession to English speakers.
Monastery No 2 for the day in Sarria is my hostel for 2 nights. It’s an ordinary Albergue with one very large dorm and a few small rooms. For some reason I’ve been put in a small room with a family of christians from the USA who are also here for 2 nights.
Fortunately I saw Helen on the outskirts of Sarria. We met a few days ago, she is an Australian from Bethnal Green. She has shin splints and was walking very slowly and in great pain. We dined together in the evening.
Sarria is the final place where it is possible to join the Camino to qualify for the Compostela. It’s 115 Kms to Santiago de Compostela and the Roman Catholic Church requires pilgrims to walk 100 Kms. The 2016 Year of Mercy is drawing huge numbers of Catholics to walk this final bit for the reasons mentioned earlier. I’ve heard many reports of bed shortages, bus loads of school children and others piling onto the Camino and huge back logs of pilgrims waiting for the Compostela paperwork. Strange but Sarria is quite empty today as are the hostels. No explanation.