Destination: Laguna de Castilla
Distance: 16 km
Time: 5 hours, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Terrain: Most was quiet paved road followed by 5km of steep rocky and somewhat muddy trail
Weather: Cloudy periods, warm
Total distance to date: 590 km (+12k taxi, 14k bus, 15k bus = 629 km)
Last night we had a great dinner downstairs at our pension. The owner, Ellie, is a Dutch woman who works hard running the place on her own for 8 months a year. Her establishment is a small bar/restaurant and a 3 room and 2 bath pension. She checks you in, does all the cooking (great food), and then cleans up after her guests leave. She is open from 8-11 and 2-10pm but she does a lot of work in between hours as well. I really don’t know how she does it.
We had a good sleep and got up at 7:30, had coffee and toast, and hit the road at 9:00am. The weather was fairly warm and since we were climbing a little, we dressed lightly and had to remove layers as we walked.
There were towns every 2-3 km so we had plenty of opportunities to stop for a break if needed. We stopped for 15 minutes in the last town before the steep climb up towards O’Cebriero and at 2pm, we arrived at Albergue La Escuela in Laguna de Castilla which is just 2k short of the highest point of this mountain.
We were glad it wasn’t raining because the trail was already wet and muddy. It took us 1:45 to hike up the 6km to the village. It was challenging but we took our time and it wasn’t too difficult. Erik walked the last km fast to make sure we arrived before the 2pm cut off.
The views today were spectacular with beautiful green fields, farms, and mountains. It’s hard to believe how much we have climbed up since we left the Meseta. As much as I loved the prairies, I am really enjoying being back into the mountains again. Tomorrow we enter the region of Galicia as we head back down the other side of the mountain, where it is supposed to be much wetter, much like the west side of the mountains on the BC coast.
We ran into Irvin while we were walking and we saw Chantal and Phillipe, as well as two women from San Francisco who we met at dinner, at our Albergue today.
Erik and I had our big meal at 2:30, did some laundry, and then came up to our room to relax. I got half through this blog post and then fell asleep. I have a sore throat today but my congestion is better so I am hoping this cold will be short lived.
It’s now 6pm, Erik is still asleep, and I’m going to finish my blog and then bring in my laundry before it rains.
Many moments of bliss today – Life is good. 🙂