Distance: 24 km
Time: 6:50 hours, 8:40 am to 3:30 pm
Terrain: Several climbs, some steep, then a long fairly steep downhill
Weather: Mixed sun and cloud, comfortable temp, no rain!
Total distance to date: 614 km (+12k taxi, 14k bus, 15k bus = 653 km)
We got up at 7:30, had coffee and toast, and hit the road by 8:40. We were happy to see blue skies and only a few clouds since the weather report had predicted overcast and 60% chance of showers.
The first 2.5 km was uphill on a dirt and rock trail, with magnificent views of the mountains and steep pastoral hillsides.
At about 1.5 km, we entered the region of Galicia, and then descended down into O’Cebreiro which is an important village on the Camino. We visited the church, Santa Maria La Real, which is supposed to be the oldest church on the Camino and had our credencials stamped. From here in, we plan to get at least two stamps per day.
Although it is a little touristy, the tiny village is very pretty with its round stone buildings with thatched roofs and Celtic ambiance.
After O ‘Cebreiro, we walked through several small hamlets which aren’t much more than a few small dairy farms. The path rolled up and down over several more peaks before finally starting the long steep downhill to our destination.
The scenery is beautiful and we are really enjoying this part of the country. The trail runs along quiet country roads and through farmland where all you can hear are the birds singing, a rooster crowing, cow bells clanging, or a dog barking in the distance.
We made a couple of stops during the day to get a drink or a snack but most of the time was spent walking. The last downhill was challenging on the knees and calves but the road was mostly paved or gravel and wasn’t too difficult.
As we entered Triacastela, we took a photo of the 800 year old tree (not sure what kind it is) and then found our pension which is more like a hotel and only 2 months old. Everything is very clean and in perfect condition.
We left our backpacks and went out to find a beer and see what we might want to do for dinner later. While wandering about town, we came upon Wolfgang and Rudy sitting at a bar and it was great to see them so we sat down and joined them for a drink.
We shared stories about where we had been for the last week and they told us about their meal of Pulpo last night (Galicia is famous for its octopus). Wolfgang suggested we order a plate and share it so can try it.
It was served with olive oil, salt, and a red spice that was similar to cayenne pepper. They called it pimento spice. It was delicious! I had expected it to be rubbery and possibly fishy tasting but it was mild and almost melt-in-your mouth tender. I will definitely have some again.
Wolfgang and Rudy will be in Santiago the same two nights as us and they suggested we attend the evening mass on Friday night because that is when they swing the Botafumeiro. We are also hoping to see Carolyn, Ana and Carlos, and maybe reconnect with Chris and Sharon in Santiago as well. It would be great to see them all again before we leave.
After beer and octopu, we came back to our room to shower and rest. Erik has been coughing a lot today and I feel tired after our long day so I think we will probably just have a snack in our room this evening and have an early night.
Tomorrow we are walking to Sarria and need to decide which route to take. A longer route that goes through Samos, but is mostly flat, or a shorter hilly route through the countryside which I suspect we will choose.
I took so many beautiful pictures today. It’s hard to choose only a few to post on the blog.