Now you are approaching the dreaded last 100km. Why is this last stretch dreaded? Well, apart from meaning that the Camino de Santiago is coming to an end, from Sarria onwards you’ll notice an abrupt increase of the number of pilgrims. The reason for this is because Sarria is the last town before the, in my opinion absurd, 100km limit. Thus, every pilgrim who has walked this last part from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela is entitled to get the Compostelana diploma in the pilgrim’s office of the Santiago de Compostela’s cathedral. Therefore, thousands of ‘pilgrims’, especially Spaniards, choose to start el Camino de Santiago just in Sarria to walk the minimum allowed distance to get this diploma. My personal opinion is strongly against this.
Nevertheless, today’s walk is again of astonishing natural beauty walking through Galician native forests of beech. Actually, there are two choices to get to Sarria, one path goes through Samos where there are a Benedictine monastery and abbey. This buildings are said to be art and architectural jewels however I’ve never took this route having chosen the northern path instead. I remember having read some bad news about Samos like the major of the village had chosen to destroy an old roman road to rebuild a new modern one or something alike and that pushed me out of walking through Samos. After, the next times that I came back I continued walking the northern route since I had liked it so much the first time.
Anyway, both options are good and in Samos there is a pilgrim’s hostel in the monastery if you want to live a medieval experience. Maybe the northern route goes along more into the nature avoiding inhabited places. Finally both routes merge in Sarria which is actually a quite nice village. In Sarria there are several pilgrim’s hostels, bars, restaurants, and a public swimming pool ideal for hot summer days. In all Galicia the public pilgrim’s hostels that are owned by the regional government have a fixed price; they started being free, then 3 euro, and now 5 euro, but prices might go up soon again.
This time Sarria’s public pilgrim’s hostel was full, and we felt like walking a bit more so we continued a couple of hours more until Ferreiros. Ferreiros is not even a village; it’s basically a public albergue with a little bar in the middle of an oak forest so don’t expect any other service than that. When we got to Ferreiros the pilgrim’s hostel was full again. Yes, if you walk the Camino de Santiago in summer this will be happening to you in Galicia all the time. So we just decided to sleep outside in the oak forest after a superb red sunset. And what a right decision it was!! We were lucky that that night it didn’t rain and the usual fog wasn’t too thick, the forest soil was soft and slightly in slope, so we slept like in a 5 start hotel, well, kind of. I remember waking up in the morning with the vision of row of cows and a tiny shepherd woman walking slowly behind layers of fog about 30 meters from us, quite an oneiric sight.