Day 27 – Sarria to Gonza 30km

We needed an early start today given our sleep ins over the last few days. So got up by 6:30am, ate our cold Tortilla and were out the door by 7.15am. It was still dark outside, the stars were glistening and the moon was still very much visible; we could tell it was going to be a good day.

The path started on an uphill and stayed this way for the first 1 hour or so. Jason really wanted to get some good photos of the sunrise so he raced up to the top of the hill with the camera whilst I tried my best to power walk. The sky looked amazing with its pink glow and thin white clouds dispersing as it slowly became brighter. For most of the way we walked up and down hills, through tiny towns and passed numerous farms.

By 1pm we were ready for lunch and stopped to sit on a stone wall where we took our shoes and socks off and enjoyed our delicious baguettes. We greeted other pilgrims that walked by and offered a few cookies to some we were familiar with. Not long after we sat down we saw Franz (the German guy we met a few nights ago) hobbling down the hill. We’d expected him to be days ahead of us by now given he was averaging around 37km a day. Unfortunately he has severely injured his right shin when walking down a steep hill and has been in constant pain and on 24hour painkillers ever since. He’s quite confident that it will eventually go away, but with our experience treating repetitive strain injuries, we’re almost certain that it will get worse if he doesn’t rest, but like we’ve learnt along the way, sometimes it’s not worth telling people things they don’t want to hear. He still managed to continue walking on with a big smile on his face and a positive attitude, so good on him for that.

As we sat and relaxed for a while longer, Amanda, Dominic, James and Alison (Denver, USA) came walking down the hill. They were all looking pretty good but definitely needed some rest. After a bit of banter we all eventually got moving again. We left them at the next town so they could grab a snack and we carried on. By this stage it was about 2pm which was peak sunlight for the day. It was absolutely boiling which made the next part even more difficult as it was all uphill and only 50% shade. As we were walking we realised we were running very low on water so made sure to take regular rests in between blocks of shade. As we were walking along a field we noticed a tractor spraying something onto the field. At first we just thought it was some sort of pesticide but as we got closer we soon realised it was liquified cow manure and it was probably the most foul smelling thing we’ve had to endure thus far on the Camino. We tried to breathe through our mouths but the particles just ended up in there so we had no choice but to walk as fast as we could and hold our breaths. Traumatising I tell you. Not long after this, Amanda and Dominic caught up and pretty much experienced the exact same thing.

By 5pm we reached the Albergue in Gonza, had our showers and ended up eating a delicious pilgrim’s menu with the gang at a local Casa.

Total cost for today:
– Breakfast: €1 Tortilla
– Lunch: €2 Ham and cheese baguette
– Dinner: €10 Pilgrim’s menu
– Snacks: €3 Cookies, sweets and apples
– Accommodation: €6

Total cost per person: €22

Til next time
Ann & Jason xo

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