Day 27: A Challenging Climb To O’Cebreiro, 31kms.

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October 16th 2018
Published: October 16th 2018
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Not Far To Go NowNot Far To Go NowNot Far To Go Now

A promising sign as I left Villafranca this morning
I took 2 steps out of the Albergue this morning and turned around and took 6 steps back in. It was freezing outside. It’s the first time that I’ve worn my warm top in the morning.

I passed a German couple going the other way who had missed the turn off for the alternative mountain route. The fog was hovering at about 50 metres so I’m not sure what you would see from the peak. I continued out of town on my own, accompanied by the occasional hooting of owls, dogs barking, roosters notifying the world that it was a new day, and an eerie, high pitched howling that encouraged me to keep moving.

Most of the day was a competition between the sounds of the rushing Rio Valcarse , and the highway overhead. The traffic was easily blocked out and the river and trees to the left of me dominated my thoughts.

As the path was light coloured asphalt, I turned my head light off and walked in the dark for a while. The headlight is handy for illuminating your path, but it also creates a black world everywhere outside of the arch. The early morning light
Early Morning Walking Early Morning Walking Early Morning Walking

This is it. Dark paths and low fog was the constant for the morning.
on the trees, the low fog that the mountains disappeared into, and the distant lights of small settlements, are all missing when I use the light.

I passed through Pereje without stopping. Trabadelo , a tiny timber town , provided a croissant and a coffee, as I was very conscious of the long day with an 8km agonising climb at the end.

I booked into a place 2 kilometres short of O’Cebreiro but cancelled at the last minute , as I was making good time and wanted to reach the top.

I walked up the mountain with Lisa, a young , recently graduated university student from Germany, who started walking in León. This was her first tough day and she passed with flying colours. She’s walking alone because her boyfriend said the Camino is only walking, and you do it when you retire. I told her he’s soft and full of excuses. After today, she doesn’t think it’s just a walk.

The reward as you gain altitude is the view, and I’m no judge, but you can see for hundreds of kilometres from the top.

The thatched roofed , dry stone buildings of O’ Cebreiro
Pereje, a Nothing Sort Of HamletPereje, a Nothing Sort Of HamletPereje, a Nothing Sort Of Hamlet

I think the Camino is diverted past here in order to attract a few pilgrim euros.
are unique to Galicia and represent the Gaelic influences that prevail in Galicia.

I’ll have an early dinner tonight. It’s only 6.30 and it’s freezing outside. I want an early night, some drugs to keep my cold at bay, and a dry day tomorrow. At least until I reach Triacastela. It’s 21kms, so I can reach it by lunchtime and hopefully beat the rain. My voice is croaky and I don’t want to risk a full blown virus.

It’s a shorter entry today as I’m tired and need some sleep.

Catch up tomorrow.

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 23


A Doer UpperA Doer Upper
A Doer Upper

I love all the rustic, shambolic wrecks that you see along the Way
Rio ValcarceRio Valcarce
Rio Valcarce

I crossed it 6 times in 500 metres at one stage. It was a constant companion.
The Entry To TrabadeloThe Entry To Trabadelo
The Entry To Trabadelo

A timber town with many albergues and pilgrim facilities. It has obviously learnt to take advantage of the passing walkers.
Cows With BellsCows With Bells
Cows With Bells

The feeding guarantees a continuous source of music as you pass by. There was about 20 of them, all with different pitches.
Small Solar FarmSmall Solar Farm
Small Solar Farm

Not much happening today but what a great idea. Someone should tell Australia.
La Portela de ValcarceLa Portela de Valcarce
La Portela de Valcarce

A quaint riverside village along the Way.
Where’s Tim?Where’s Tim?
Where’s Tim?

Four years ago we both sat in this very spot in Ruitelán.
The picture postcard village of HerreríasThe picture postcard village of Herrerías
The picture postcard village of Herrerías

I considered staying there but the forecast of afternoon rain tomorrow inspired me to get a move on.
Steeper And Worse RocksSteeper And Worse Rocks
Steeper And Worse Rocks

It was worse in 2016 in the rain, but it’s punishing at any time.
The Reward At The TopThe Reward At The Top
The Reward At The Top

What a view. We came out of the valley below. It’s a 500 metre climb in 8 kilometres
The Region MarkerThe Region Marker
The Region Marker

We have left León and have entered Galicia

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