Day 29 on the Camino Frances, Sarria to Portomarin
When hiking the Camino, if you hike the last 100 km you qualify to get a certificate of completion when you get to Santiago. So what town is 100 km from Santiago? Sarria. Busloads of students and tour groups started from Sarria or Triacastela to do 100 km, and this was by far the most crowded day on the Camino. We rolled out of Sarria and gained a series of hills in pleasant country.
We started seeing a strange structure typical of Galicia, where we were. There are called Horreos, corn crib in English. These were on stilts or raised on a wall, and had an overhang or flat rocks on the top of the stilts to block mice. Corn was traditionally placed in the horreos to dry, and was used as animal food. The upper structure is made of perforated bricks or wooden lattice with ventilation gaps.
We passed a few gates in which the stationary side of the gate was anchored in a hole cut into a big rock. That hinge is not going to wear out!
Portomarin is a fairly new town, the old town having been submerged by a dam built in 1956 on the river Mino. The major buildings of the town, including the church/fortress owned by the knights of the Order of Santiago, was moved block by block to the new location.
We stayed at the Casa Ribeira Sacra, a few blocks from the big church downtown. They were pleasant and welcoming, and greeted us with free orange juice and crackers. We felt at home.