Day 1 – Sarria – Portomarin 23Km

‘On the Camino, be prepared to be surprised!’ advice from a fellow pilgrim we met in our hotel the night before we embarked on our Camino journey!
We set off early this morning and we had a chilly start but we soon warmed up and enjoyed a fantistic day on the Camino.  We really were surprised. The scenery over the course of the first 23km was breathtaking.  ‘Oh my God it’s just so lovely” Katrina was to utter this scentence numerous times over the course of the day!  The landscape was very similiar to Ireland. Green fields, stone walls and beautiful little stream beds dotted along the way.  It is definitely not the Spain we are used to seeing.  In a way, walking along the trails reminded us of our childhoods being up the fields wandering through the little pathways and splashing through streams.  This first stage wasn’t particulary flat with some steep ascents but nothing too hard to manage.


After 4.5km we came to the first resting point with a lovely little restaurant and souviener shop where you could get your passport stamped.  We headed on from here and the next resting point was at the 13km point.  We stopped here for lunch.  It was nice to catch up with fellow pilgrims here and see how they were getting on.  When we moved off here we had tough enough terrain to contend with for about 2km.  There was another beautiful restaurant La Bodeguina de Mercadono at 18km and it was just too nice to pass so we took another well derseved break here! We had a further 7km after this.

The scenery continued amaze us.. At this stage we were quite high up and you could see Portomarin ahead of us down in the valley.  It is nestled between two lakes and a forest and behind us you could make out snow capped mountains.  As I said at this stage we were at a high altitude so we had to come down to Portomarin…this involved scaling a very steep incline of almost a natural staircase set into the mountain side.  We had to be extremely careful here but we took it slow and it was fine.  Then we had a magnificent bridge to cross that brought us to the foot of Portomarin.  Another climb up steps and about a five minute walk and we were met with the welcome site of our hotel The Pousada.  Now we’re going to chill for the evening, rest our weary bones and enjoy our meal this evening.  Bed early and we will be all set for day 2 of our Camino adventure!  What surprises will we encounter tomorrow?

Watch highlights of our first day below