Today we walked from Triacastela to Barbadelo, which means that we’ve now entered the more commercial part of the Camino. Apart from getting right with God, the purpose of the Camino for many is getting a Compostella, which occurs in Santiago. You present your “Credencial” which is a Camino Passport (mine is pictured in the header). You get it stamped and dated at every albergue, church, restaurant, pilgrim office that participates. The latest stop on the Camino where you can begin walking and still earn a Compostela is Sarria, the last town we passed through before arriving here. Sarria is about 115 km. from Santiago.
So from this point forward the traffic picks up considerably. You start to see tour buses and albergues fill up more readily. And, pretty much every place you stop is now filled with Camino Kitsch. Fewer moments of solitude.
But today was nonetheless lovely. Up and down gentle hills under a tree canopy on a damp leafy footpath, or tiny stone lanes. You can still step back a hundred years pretty easily in some of these villages. It was finally sunny after 3 solid days of rain, so we were delighted about that, although it was still soggy underfoot.
We miscalculated our distance today so ended taking a cab the last 5km to an albergue in the lovely village of Barbadelo.  There are some days when enough is just enough. At first we were a bit bummed when the cab passed the village center and went on another km to here. We were thinking, “Argh, walk back to dinner,” when we were already very tender footed. But we are on a little farm with a hammock and lawn chairs. There are two friendly dogs and chickens, cats and little lambs tottering about the yard. And the two of us and another woman who doesn’t speak English are the only guests. Antonio, the owner, is kind, but we exhausted my limited Spanish and his more limited English quite quickly. Lots of smiling back and forth. So we’re enjoying the sun and Joycee is napping in the hammock. Yay us. You would never notice the commercialism from here.


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