Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Camino Day 1: Sarria to Mercadoiro

Image Credit: http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/
Today's schedule:

7:00am Alarm
8:18am Breakfast at Matias Locanda
8:49am Begin the Camino
11:27am Snack break along the trail
12:49pm Lunch break at Casa Cruceiro 
2:12pm First boo boo of the Camino
2:49pm Stop at the Albergue Mercadoiro 
4:02pm Team JEJ reach the Albergue
5:30pm Kids dinner
6:42pm Kids watch 9 movie
8:01pm Dinner
9:00pm Bedtime for JEJ
10:00pm Bedtime for JKM

Distance covered: 16.3km/10.9mi
Mia's pedometer: 28,396 steps

We must have had a disconnect somewhere because Mom was quite pissy when I turned on the room lights at 7am after my alarm went off. She has the idea that kids can't function without 10-12 hours of sleep. That's not happening in my family, unless it's the weekend and we're home in bed. Erika woke up crying about not feeling well but there isn't much we can do for her besides 3 children's Tylenol chewables. We packed up everything and headed out of the albergue and returned to the same restaurant as last night. Their breakfast buffet (5€ each) was disappointing to say the least. It didn't compare to the American continental breakfast in most hotels. Mom was the classy American who pocketed two yogurts to take on the trail. After breakfast, it was time to hit the trail. 
The Camino leaves from a point right outside our albergue so we backtracked up the hill once more. I reset the pedometers for each kid and we were off. The complete countryside was blanketed in a heavy fog so we couldn't see much for the first hour or two as we climbed up. Justin did really good and stayed up with us for the first hour. As soon as we slowed down, rather stopped, to let Grandma and Erika catch up with us, he fell back and walked with them. The scenery is gorgeous and there was so much to see around every corner. Thankfully the weather is beautiful, not too hot or cold and no rain in sight! The kilometer markers frequently have stacks of rocks on top and they are numerous, usually 3-4 markers per kilometer. After Mia was stopping to stack a rock on top of every one, we talked her  into doing it only when it changed kilometers, like from 99 to 98, etc. 
We stopped to sit on a rock wall and have a small snack after a couple hours. There are rock walls dividing all the different fields, very reminiscent of my trip to Ireland. The fragrance of cow manure hangs thick over the entire Camino except when we're directly in town. It beats the heavy cloying perfume of women though so no complaints. Many beautiful wild flowers scattered all over so I had to stop and take pictures of each kind I found. 
We happened upon a cafe just after noon but Jose wanted to continue on a little more. Mia was getting hungry by the time we reached the next one and I was too to be honest so we stopped. José ordered the pilgrim's menu (9€) which comes with a drink, first and second platter, and a dessert. He got caldo gallego, chicken breast with fries, red wine, and a banana as they are out of everything else. I ordered a tortilla de patata for Mia and I to share along with a bowl of lentil soup (3,50€) for me and a plate of macarrones pasta (4,50€) for her and a Cola Cao to drink. José knocked over his glass of wine and it poured all over the table, our phones, battery pack, nothing important you know. The gentleman there helped us clean it up and brought José the rest of a bottle of wine. What we hadn't realized was that Mia's pack was sitting right under the end of the table and the wine had dripped off the table and all over her sweatshirt. José ended up knocking over his next glass too. We had planned to sit there and easily for JEJ to catch up but mom texted me that they had just arrived at the first café and they were stopping to eat so we continued on. 
There were lots of other pilgrims out on the  trails today. We didn't find any other kids that were walking but a couple passed us on bikes with a larger group. There are many Spaniards who take advantage of Semana Santa (Spring break) to walk the Camino. Many people comment on Mia for being so brave and courageous to do this with us so she is feeling very proud of herself as she should. We had our first medical accident of the Camino when we stopped to take a selfie. Since Mia is so much shorter than us, we had her climb on a rock wall to get in the picture. When we were helping her down, we let her fall and she scraped up her knee and drew blood. She was laughing in order to hold back the tears. 
We finally reached the albergue that I had tentatively planned on stopping at the first night. JEJ were still 4km behind us so it wasn't likely they'd be able to go much farther before dark fell. We checked to make sure they had 6 beds available and say down to wait for their arrival about an hour and 15 minutes later. We got our own room with 3 sets of bunks in it and two Canadian gentlemen staying in the next room over. The room was quite chilly with no heater so we put the paper sheets and cases on that they had issued us upon check-in before laying out our sleeping bags and crawling in for warmth. 
I washed Mia's sweatshirt in the utility sink outside to get rid of the red wine and hung it out on the clothes line. We sat at the tables outside the restaurant and chatted with everyone passing through. One couple showed up with a daughter about Erika's age and they had a drink while figuring out their next move and they decided to push on. The kitchen doesn't start serving dinner until 7pm so we ordered a whole tortilla de patata for the kids to eat. Afterwards, we tucked them into bed with the Kindle so they could watch the movie "9". José and I went over to eat and found that the Canadians had built a fire in the woodstove so we sat upstairs to eat and relax. They only offered two main dishes; fish or chicken. We ordered one of each and Mia got spaghetti carbonara. After we finished eating, I brought my journal over so I could write in the warmth while José played dominoes with Mia. The Canadians sat downstairs and video chatted with their family back home and complained about pretty much everything. Hike your own hike I guess but geez. Back to the room where JEJ were already sleeping and we crawled into bed. Justin and José slept alone in their bunks while mom shared with Erika and I with Mia. She's got a super hot core so she was my personal people heater all night long. Buen Camino!  

Breakfast at Matias Locanda: 30€
Lunch at Casa Cruceiro: 18,90€
Lunch at Casa Morgade: 7,50€ (Erika toast 1,50€, JJ egg/cheese bocadillo 3€ each) 
Dinner: 44,75€ (fish/chicken 7, spaghetti carbonara 5, tortilla de patata 15, 4 sodas for 8€, tinto de verano x2 8€,  house wine 1,75€,  beer 2€)
Fruit 5,50€ (7 pieces) 
Mercadoiro Albergue: 60€
Total Daily Expenses: 166,65€



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