Well I was warned that it was an upward and onward day and certainly the going was tough, not just for a little old lady like me but even the young were having to take it all extremely slowly, with frequent stops along the way to catch ones breath and to admire the amazing views….
Leaving Herrerias was fine, just a gentle uphill, which then became a manageable hill, which then turned unto a “panting how can I get one foot in front of the other” mountain, and yet on it went relentless…….
To begin with it was a morning of animals….
The put you off your breakfast sort……
And the “I’m really pleased to see you sort…..
And the “will you be my friend” sort….
And the “can I come with you?”……. “I’m such a nice dog”……
And the just plain curios…..
The flowers are now everywhere and would gladden anyone’s heart….
And rushing, gushing water everywhere……
It was a reasonable day weather wise, I met a Pilgrim walking in shorts (I didn’t think it was that reasonable). He told me that he is on his ninth Pilgrimage, and once he had started in Paris, he went ahead of me and coped with the terrain like a mountain goat!
Sorry no photo of his knees…..
The higher I went the worse the path became, with stretches of drifted snow which I had to negotiate around, not on the sheer drop side but the mountain side, melting in the sunshine and making water course down the mountainside…..
Then I came across this… which told me I was in Galatia……
This was followed by a series of bright new signs showing the way…..
And from here on both sides of the track are thick with the tiniest wild daffodils I have ever seen….
A close up…..
The views were spectacular, but advisable not to go too near the edge of the path….
About an hour earlier I had walked through the farm shown here, when I say walked it was more like wading though mud and cow pats, good job I’m a country girl! ….. and here the haystacks wear little hats to keep themselves dry…..
The final push and I am welcomed by a sign that tells me I have made it to O’Cebreiro……
Around a corner and suddenly I am hit full in the face with commercialism at it finest. There are coaches parked up there, and dozens of cars. There are shops selling tourist tack, there are several bars, and so many people milling about…
On the plus side there is a beautiful church…….
And many of these Celtic round houses…..
O’Cebreiro is a tiny place, you can walk through it in 5 minutes. It is here that I am spending my ‘rest day’. The heating in my hostel goes off at 8:30 and doesn’t come on again until they open at three, obviously catering for the one night Pilgrim trade…
There are no warm welcomes here, and barely a smile except from Pilgrims that I have met along the way.
I asked my Landlady for WiFi, she told me she had none even though her laptop was there for all to see. I have found a bar and have tucked myself here to write this.
Today the weather is appalling. It’s raining and there is thick
fog. Pilgrims are advised not to use the Camino trail but to walk today on the hazardous road with its hairpin bends….
Here is a photo overlooking the valley from yesterday…
And here is the same view today……
I realise that my body is now getting extremely tired and it was high time that I had a rest day. Yesterday I went to my room at 3pm after an “okay” pilgrims lunch. I took off my shoes and lay down on my bed, fully clothed. I woke at one this morning, got changed into my night things and slept again. Today I do feel much better, the aches and pains are manageable. I’m just wondering what to do with myself in this little village in the rain and the fog. The Pilgrims have all left for todays walk, and I wonder if there are more Pilgrims right now making their way up the mountain in these miserable conditions. It so resembles life, one day there is sunshine and flowers the next day one can’t even begin to see the way ahead, maybe on those days one should just take a rest day and not even try to negotiate the fog of like. It won’t always be foggy, the sun will eventually come out and bless us with its warmth.
Love Susan x