Transitioned to pilgrims time

We are safely tucked into our hotel in Sarria after a very full and exciting 24 hours. We all gathered Sunday evening at our hotel, sitting outside in beautifully clear weather after a drizzly day in Madrid. We wove our circle of pilgrims, including three who had to cancel their journey due to last minute illqness. We will carry them as part of our group as we travel. It was so nice to meet everyone after so many months of virtual connection - our small but mighty group travelling from several different states. As we introduced ourselves, we shared our fears and anticipations, hopes and dreams for the journey. After our meeting, we had our first (short) walk together to dinner. We had a sumptuous dinner at the Casa Lobo restaurant. Course after course of delicious food, and we were so well cared for. It was a wonderful way to start our time together. We returned to the hotel well fed and ready to rest, many of us having arrived in Europe on Saturday or Sunday.
We had various amounts of success sleeping in our comfortable, clean, and friendly hotel. Some of us participated in our first yoga class of the trip where we explored the idea of staying open to our full experience - the parts that we like and the parts that are hard. We all had a delicious breakfast featuring European breakfast standards (cured meat, fresh bread, cheese, pastries, fruit) in addition to being served by an omlet/pancake/Spanish tortilla (potato pie, sort of) bar.
We had a few hours in the morning to pack and to buy whatever equipment we might need that we had forgotten and then we pleased by the timely arrival of our bus to the train station.
Having arrived a bit early, we had time to explore the shops in the station before being directed to track 20, which seems to be the standard track for this train.
With our missing pilgrims, we took advantage of our extra seats by spreading out for the 6 hour journey from the regular world to the magical time space of pilgrimage. Everyone endured the journey with grace. It helped that our car included the dining section so we could easily walk forward and stand up. The view was beautiful and we enjoyed being in the train with some of the other people who will start walking tomorrow.

We were joyfully greated by our friend and guide Jose Placer, who quickly ferried us to the bus, happily driven by Tito this year. Tucked into our first hotel, we enjoyed our first pilgrims menu across the canal and are now eagerly awaiting the start of the journey tomorrow.

Copyright 2019 Nancy and Hugh Murray

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