Wednesday, August 11
Today was a very disjointed day. Our comrade who went to the hospital last night was kept overnight while being tested (negatively) for the COVID virus, being administered an IV and given some meds. She was able to leave at 10:00 today with some prescriptions. She has a very interesting story to tell about the hospital staff and procedures!
Our leader and another Wayfinder went to the hospital with her, didn’t get back and to bed until 2 am and thus our projected start time of 5:30 on what was to be our longest day of 16 miles today was shot all to hell.
We had a lengthy meeting at 9 am to vent about accumulated “stuff” and to decide how to approach the day. We decided to taxi ten miles and finally got into one at 10:50, arriving at the Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Sobrado at 11:15.
From a brochure: “The surviving documents refer to the existence of a double monastery of Benedictine monks and nuns on this site in 952, founded by Hermenegildo and Paterna, the Court and Countess of nearby Présaras. It was dedicated to the Holy Savior. Almost two centuries later, because of the lack of vocations, the heirs offered this family property to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, France, who accepted the proposal and sent the first group of Cistercian monks on February 14, 1142, to establish the foundation in accordance with the Cistercian custom. The name of the monastery was changed to ‘Our Lady of Sobrado’.
Significant historical dates: 1147 – the formal confirmation of the new Cistercian monastery by Pope Eugene III (which means that Sobrado was probably the first male Cistercian foundation in Spain). 1498 – Sobrado joins the reformed Congregation of Castile. 1600-1750 – A period of constant rebuilding and additions. 1834 – The Royal Decree suppressing all male monasteries in Spain led to the expulsion of the monks, the confiscation and sale of all lands and goods, and the building itself was practically abandoned, stripped of all its furnishings, library, etc. and even partially demolished. 1954 – restoration work began, and in July 1966 Cisterian monastic life returned to the monastery, thanks to a small group of monks from Viaceli (Cóbreces, Cantabria).
July 2015 – UNESCO Declared Sobrado a World heritage site, by association with the Saint James Pilgrim route in northern Spain (Caminos del Norte).”
Sobrado is a functioning monastery so visits are limited to the ground floor. “The monastery features an impressive baroque main church with a dominating façade, built in the 17th century by Pedro Monteagudo, as well as two 17th century cloisters, a 12th century chapter house, a Renaissance sacristy, and multiple chapels, including the early Romanesque chapel of John the Baptist, built in the monastery’s pre-Cistercian history.” From our guidebook, The Northern Caminos)
Our leader and I have stayed as pilgrims in the past yet unfortunately they are not allowing pilgrims since the pandemic. We did briefly stroll the grounds and first floor before heading out for a late breakfast a couple of blocks.
And then we got our walk on! The temperature was already mid 70’s and even though we only walked 6 miles, we all agreed that we were quite tired when we arrived at our albergue. We had to wait for an hour before someone let us in, but it’s a lovely place just off the main road which will take us back to the Camino in the morning. We did walk another mile to the next town for some groceries and a bite to eat (calamari for me) a little later so all tolled my mileage amounted to 9.5 for the day. Tomorrow we have another short day of 7 miles and we will meet up with the other group. We have reservations for the remaining time together so should not have to compete in the bed wars again.
Towns we walked through today were Vilarchao, O Peruxil, Castro, As Corredoiras and ending in Boimil.
I totally forgot to mention yesterday, that we had an opportunity to stop in for a stamp at very artistic space. The owner not only stamped in ink on our passports, he affixed wax seals as well! He also invited us to go into his memorabilia area and he had so many amazing Camino artifacts! His artistic touch was present in furniture and decoration where ever my eyes landed!
I was happy that I had a chance to FaceTime my daughter and granddaughter since I am not home to celebrate the little one’s birthday numbero uno. Sure love that technology allows us to do these things! My family is so supportive and being able to connect at times has been so valuable to me!
In closing, after rereading yesterday’s blog and hardly making sense of it myself, I wanted to add that my two primary reasons for blogging are 1) to let my friends and family know what I’m up to and 2) to serve as a diary to go back later and re-enjoy my adventures. I am not trying to gather subscribers or win any literary prizes! That’s a good thing, because yesterday’s was very lame! Honestly, the walking is challenging in and of itself. Additionally, The Camino will always bring up emotions and communication amongst one another as well as with people from other countries is very taxing. There’s a lot of reflection, crying, apologizing and stretching. Sometimes it’s all I can do to put a sentence together for a relay let alone in this blog. And what’s up with that word anyway? “Blog” is very strange word…