Breakfast was served in the bar at the front of Casa David. We ate at a small counter at the side since all the tables were occupied. Our Swiss pilgrim was also up ahead of us as usual and finishing his breakfast. After eating, Greg and I went back to the room to get our stuff and do our daily devotions. At the end of town, the Camino split into two directions, and we went to the left and followed the road and the signs to Sarria. After a mile or so, I began to think we might be on the wrong track since we were now seeing signs to Samos. I stopped to check my guide and after confirming we had taken the wrong direction, I hurried to catch up to Greg and inform him. At this point, we felt that we had gone too far to turn back, since that would probably mean going even further in the end. We decided to stay on the route and go through Samos. I calculated that this would ultimately take us about 4 miles more than the other direction, but if we had gone back, not only would we be losing time, we would not gain much mileage. It was an overcast day up to this point with the rain threatening. We walked for a couple of miles along the rio Oribio which was on our left and down a steep chasm. Eventually we crossed over the LU-633 and headed in a westerly direction up to Capela Freituxe. This was followed by another steep climb to San Martino before going down through a tunnel under the LU-633 once again and the track into Samos. As we came across the ridge overlooking the town, we could see the old monastery in the distance.
There was a steep downhill going into Samos, and there were two young Spanish couples ahead of us who appeared to be coming from church. As we neared the center of town we saw a bench outside a Mercado, and thought this might be a good place to rest and eat lunch. Greg and I took turns going into the Mercado and shopping for things. I bought some fresh-baked bread and some M&Ms. After eating, we started packing up when suddenly, Manfred came down the street! It was great to see him. He gave us an update on Phyllis who he had seen a day or so ago, and he said she was doing fine. After chatting for a while, Manfred set out to find a restaurant to get some hot soup. We said goodbye and hoped to see him down the road. Samos was a delightful town, and Greg and I both remarked that we were glad we took this route so we could see it. Near the outskirts of town, I saw an interesting pilgrim statue in a little park along the river dedicated to Peregrinos.
We walked along the river for a while after leaving the town until the yellow arrow beckoned us up a trail to the right across the busy road. From here, we climbed up a steep hill into a wooded path that led to the little village of Pascais. We were up along a ridge now that looked down onto the same rio Oribio we had been following for some time.
The river had taken a sharp turn to the north and so had we as we were now headed in the direction that would lead us to eventually join up with the other Camino route. The rain was holding off, save for a few sprinkles here and there. For the most part, we were fairly sheltered by the woods. This was becoming a really good walk. We walked through some beautiful farmland and some small villages.
One bridge I crossed over in Viega had a little angel nestled in a protective shelter who guarded the bridge, I think.
An hour or so later, we passed through the little town of Perros and joined up with the other Camino trail. We noticed immediately how crowded the Camino was at this point. Again, another reason to be grateful that we had decided to take this peaceful walk through the Samos region.
The main trail led us west into the outskirts of Sarria, and there was a long walk through a residential section on the rua do Peregrino until we reached the Hotel Alphonso IX. This was truly a luxurious hotel. In the lobby, as we were checking in, we met an American couple from Ohio who were just joining the Camino to walk to Santiago.
The desk clerk informed us that dinner in the formal dining room was not until 9:00 pm, but that we could eat in the Cafeteria with the same menu at 7:00. That was not a hard decision for us. Up in the room we stretched out in the most spacious room we had had up to this point and enjoyed the luxury of a great shower in a truly spectacular bath. I removed my blister bandages to check out how I was doing, and Greg was aghast at how big the blisters were. 40 minutes later I had dressed the “ampollas” with new bandages and tape that would last for another couple of days at least, I hoped. Later we went down to the cafeteria and had a beer to wait for dinner hour. The place was filling up fast and we got a table and ordered the specialty of the house which was steak served raw at the table for us to cook on a table-top grill.
While we were eating, we calculated that we had actually walked 18 miles today, and after dinner, it didn’t take us long to get to sleep.