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Right after Sarria, it was once again almost a whole hour uphill on the main road. Then finally I drove again with pleasure on the actual Way of St. James and have overtaken many, many foot pilgrims. Since it is only just over 100km from Sarria to Santiago, many pilgrims start in Sarria. According to the regulations, a minimum of 100km must be covered on foot in order to receive the pilgrimage certificate. Now you see all kinds of pilgrims. The real ones, with heavy backpacks, sturdy shoes and walking stick, who come from far away, the pilgrims 'light', who walk without luggage (which is transported in the car), and the tourist pilgrims, who also walk without luggage, on selected sections of the route - where it is beautiful.

Pilgrim on horseback

A rare sight: Pilgrims on horseback and a bike pilgrim!


Pilgrim

Many foot pilgrims I have overtaken and wished 'bon camino'. Here a "real pilgrim". So shortly before Santiago are also many so-called "pilgrims light - without luggage" on the road.


Fuente del Peregrino

a Christian organization offers free coffee and prayers.


Way of St. James just before Portomarin

a view from the Way of St. James just before Portomarin

Forest road

At some point I left the Camino and, following my bike guide, continued on paved back roads. Suddenly I didn't know where I was and the little map in my guide didn't make sense. Emotionally, I headed in the direction where I thought the Camino was. Through a beautiful forest it went uphill, but I could not enjoy the forest - was totally unsure.


Pilgrimage route

Then finally I saw the stream of pilgrims in the distance and was insanely happy to be back on the right path.

The stream of pilgrims in the forest! In the picture almost not to recognize, but for me very, very reassuring.


In Arzúa, the hostel was hopelessly overcrowded. On the outskirts of the city there was still a private hostel in which we found a place. I had parked the bike outside the hostel and locked it. When I had to go to the toilet at night, I almost tripped over a bike that was parked in the dormitory. Some idiot pushed his bike into the dormitory, I cursed. In the morning I saw. It was my bike. The innkeeper had brought it in - because of the thieves.


Photos: Gerhard Eichinger