Regina Looby tells us about her exciting trip to the province of Lugo - Sarria. She is going to regularly shares her experiences while she walks through the beautiful landscape of northwestern Spain.
The airport at Santiago is modern and full of Irish accents thanks to regular flights from Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Right outside the main entrance is the bus station, and one hour later our bus to one of Galicia's largest towns Lugo, arrives on time.
A road sign tells me it's 90km to Lugo and as the bus travels parallel to the Camino I scout the countryside for clues. It's a bit like Wicklow, all very 'Garden of Ireland' - lush green fields, splashes of woods and pine forests.
It's farming country, both cattle and crops. There are also lots of hills. They look picturesque from the bus, but all I could think of was walking back through them. Hills are the enemy of this lazy walker.
The journey passes mostly without incident until an elderly man gets on board in the small town of Arzua. Of course, he sat beside me and proceeded to talk incessantly in Spanish for 10km despite my 'no parlay Espanola'!!
I'm pretty sure that he liked my eyes and the way I smelt. He spent some time giving me directions to his 'casa' which was someplace very high. 'Alto'! Perhaps he was offering me somewhere to sleep or maybe he wanted to let me know he was there for me if things didn't work out in Dublin.
Whatever he was saying I could feel every Spanish ear on the bus tuning in, and I was praying that he wasn't just talking dirty to me.
In Lugo, I took another bus for the remaining 23km to Sarria and from the bus station, it took over 30 mins to find my hotel which was just up the road in the end. But all the Camino folk seemed lost.
The rattle of our cases of the tiled streets must drive the locals mad. They stopped and let you through 'passez, passez' but not in a smiley welcoming way, more in a 'get away with you and the noise of that auld case' way.
I didn't blame them. It was a warm sunny evening in Sarria and, as in all such towns with a hot climate, this is the time of the day when women leave their homes to gather with neighbours and catch up on local news, when men cluster on street benches to laugh and chat. This is when I envy them this climate - that each day a community pulls together in the dying heat of the day.
After checking into the Hotel oca Villa de Sarria (simple and clean) I find a local restaurant where I devour grilled cuttlefish and a plate of Serrano ham with some delicious bread washed down with the indignant roars of the locals who clearly dislike Ronaldo as much as I do.
Then an early night - another sign that this holiday is going to be very different.
Written by Regina Looby
Stay tuned each week to find out more about Regina's trip to Sarria.