Hospital – Samos
Windy again but dry for now this morning. After a while I caught up with Marta and Pedro whose beds were empty by the time I woke up this morning. They had limited time off from work and were walking from Astorga to Santiago in two weeks. Today there was an option to take a scenic route via Samos where one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in Spain was situated and it also took in pilgrims. This was were I was headed but it was quite a bit further than the direct route to Sarria so they would be taking the other way. I walked with them to the town which was the junction and chatted with Marta about their family and our respective travels. She spoke no English but it seemed to go well. We caught up with Pedro trying to climb a huge tree, took photos and said buen caminos and goodbyes and then took different directions. Ten minutes later I saw them again in the supermarket. Spent the afternoon walking again through very cornwall-esque scenery on the way to Samos. The monastery was a wonderful place to stay, simple but authentic with lots of atmosphere and plenty of monks in robes gliding through the cloisters. The Polish cowboy guy arrived and I was a little sad to hear that he was ready for his walk to be over and just wanted to get to Santiago now. He was also chorizo’ed out as that is pretty much all he had been eating. I had also started to think over the last couple of days that we were now getting close to Santiago but I was in no way ready to stop yet and was thankful of my plan to be continuing on to Finisterre. Having run out of food I decided to go to the bar across the road for a ‘menu peregrino’, the pilgrim menu which was available in most towns but which I hadn’t take yet partly as it was usually served at a time by which I was already in bed and partly due to my tight budget but for 8euros that night I was given an absolute feast. Firstly a giant serving bowl of Caldo Gallego or Gallician Stew was brought out to me which contain about four servings most of which I polished off with the mountain of bread alongside it. Then came roasted chicken with potatoes. This was followed up by cinnamon bread pudding and hot chocolate sauce and the whole meal was accompanied by a full bottle of red wine, from which I only drank two glasses to be polite and to avoid a bad head at 7am in the morning! Arrived ‘home’ at the monastery just in time for vespas which was held in the huge church inside the monastery and sung by the monks. The polish cowboy guy thanked the diminutive monk who was in charge for a wonderful mass, praise which he took very modestly and said “ah, well, it was much better yesterday”.