There is something to be said about the climb to 0’Cebreiro. Maybe it’s the narrow pathway that leads straight up from the valley below. Maybe it’s the fact that it is the final obstacle to Santiago de Compostela.
Whatever it is, it always seems like a huge accomplishment. I left at 6:45 AM. The town was very quiet. I journeyed up the road about a mile. There the path goes down for the hikers, and up for the bicyclist. As I climbed, short of breath, I reminded myself that this very day was the reason I trained on all the hills of Staunton.
Looking back as I climbed the village of Las Herreras disappeared. I had to stop more often than usual to catch my breath. I thought of other family members (Dad and Ran) who also have climbed even higher mountains and wondered what it is that draws us to do this. The view?
In O’Cebreiro, I visited a lovely chapel and prayed for Ran. I was comforted by a couple who sang a song while I prayed.
I then hunted through several cafe/bars for something hot, as I had walked through cold rain and hail approaching the village. I walked nearly out of town and saw a tiny restaurant. When I walked in the elderly woman and husband stood up and spoke to me (?). Not understanding, but very cold and hungry I said, “? Sopa, porfavor?” She stares at me and shrugs, leaving the room. My feet were sore and I had to check them out, so I discreetly pulled my socks off to look for blisters. They were okay. The grandmother returned with a huge bowl of chicken noodle soup with crusty bread. I clapped and thanked her. Pleased, she then set about to light a fire in her fireplace. Gosh, I hoped it was a restaurant and not her home!
Leaving town I met a gentleman from Florida and we walked the next six miles together through heavy snow.
Finally, reaching Fonfria, we said “Buen Camino!” And I checked into my albergue A Reboleira, which serves a fantastic communal meal! Tomorrow I travel closer to Santiago. Tonight I rest.