Camino del Norte Days 24, 25, 26

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday September 28, 29, 30, 2022
Baamonde, Miraz, Sobrado dos Monxes, Arzúa

Baamonde to Miraz
So much for non-rainy days…. We had a very gentle mist throughout Monday morning on our walk to Miraz. After we stopped at a café, it started to POUR. Peregrinos came into the café with ponchos, dripping wet. We were grateful that we had a short day and a taxi ride to Sobrado dos Monxes for the night.

When we arrived at Hotel San Marcus, we met a couple from Arlington VA that we’d run into several times in the past few days. Steve and Beth said that their trek from Miraz to Sobrado dos Monxes in the rain was challenging. We all agreed that we’re hoping for drier weather, although they really do need the rain here in Galicia. Happy to stay in a very nice hotel with an excellent shower! We had lunch with Steve and Beth, and said that we’d probably run into them again on the Camino.

Miraz to Sobrado dos Monxes
On Tuesday morning, we took a taxi back to where we ended on Monday, and made our way back to Sobrado. It rained off and on throughout the morning, and we finally had some sunshine, so we took off our ponchos and put them into our backpacks…. but on our final approach to Sobrado we had a sudden rain & wind storm. Too late to put ponchos back on, so we plowed on, [literally] soaked to the skin. If only we hadn’t stopped for that last café con leche, maybe we would have made it before the storm.

Sobrado dos Monxes is a small town, and its claim to fame is the Cistercian monastery. The history of this monastery can be traced back, according to some researchers, to the 5th or 6th century AD, making it one of the first Christian monasteries. The first documentation dates back to the 10th century. Its location on the Camino del Norte led to the monastery’s rapid boom and its importance to the economy of the area, since it is only 70 km from Santiago de Compostela.

In 1142, the monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes passed into the hands of the most influential order of the time, the Cistercian order. The construction of the new building was done by master stonemasons from various parts of the world. We didn’t make it to the monastery for a tour, but from the outside, the buildings are stunning.

Sobrado dos Monxes to Arzúa
Happy that there was no rain in the forecast, we started out early on a very cold morning. No rain, but plenty of mud on the trails, similar to our last few days on the Camino Primitivo in 2017. There are plenty of chestnuts falling from the trees. Easy to slip on them, so we’ve been careful. Our trekking poles have saved us a few times from falling on our butts!

You can feel the excitement of everyone, knowing that we are less than 40km from Santiago. Tomorrow, three Camino routes will converge, and the tranquility of the past month will change quite drastically. But for today, we enjoyed seeing only about half a dozen people on the quiet road leading to Arzúa.

We arrived early to Hotel a Curuxa, 2 hours before check-in, so we continued down the hill to a café for a snack, and while there I had a really nice chat with my sister Jeni, catching up on what my sisters have been doing at the house in Piscataway, talking about how (and when) I can help once we get back in October. The time difference and our walking schedule haven’t been conducive for phone calls, but I was happy to talk to Jeni today.

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