Today was tough, mentally and spiritually.
Rosan and I set out late, at about 9 AM, and ran straight into the minimum-kilometer tourists. There were so many people on the trail, in their fancy outfits and their daypacks, constantly snapping photos, clacking their walking sticks into every town.
There were tour buses and vans at every rest stop.
Someone told me that from Sarria onwards, it was Camino Disneyland and that the minimum-kilometer pergrinos were "the Mickeys".
The energy was certainly different. I regretted stopping at Sarria. We should have heeded our friends' warning and gone one town further, or left early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
And then I thought of my father. In his condition, he would have been a Mickey.
To be fair, the trail from Sarria was still breathtaking and was most definitely still a challenge. There were a lot of steep uphill and downhill trails, not to mention the relentless, omnipresent, freezing Galician wind.
My father would have struggled on the trail today.
I certainly have no right to be a Camino snob. Recently, I met a German guy who had just gotten off the Camino Norte. He said he was overwhelmed by the noise and the crowd on the Camino Frances. And on the Camino Frances, we've taken planes-trains-and-automobiles and haven't always been carrying our packs. We've stayed at upscale hotels and dined at expensive restaurants. We didn't even start at St. Jean, something purists might frown upon.
So mea culpa. I should have flowed with the energy shift and embraced the presence of the new pilgrims on the Camino.
Everyone has their own path and their own way.
For a less jarring experience though, I still would have skipped Sarria, or walked earlier or later. FYI, the number of pilgrims on the road significantly dwindled after lunch.
Re the Galician wind, always have your jacket, scarf, gloves, etc. within easy reach because, even under the sun, it can be freezing. When I start to feel warm, I attach whatever I discard to my belt loops so that I can easily put them on again if I have to, which is normally, five seconds after I remove them.