I thought today would be tough climbing up O Cebreiro with only a weeks camino training but actually that wasn’t the tough section. The last 8kms from Hospital to Fonfria were the killer. There were a surprising amount of very steep hills spread out along this 8km to finish a hiker off after the 2500ft already climbed in the morning. Today I did the equivalent of climbing up Scafell Pike and walking 25k on top of that. I’m pooped! I say surprising but of course it should not surprise me at all as I’ve walked this way now four times!
However, despite the pain, today has still been my favourite day of the trip so far with the most breathtaking views that make all the pain worthwhile. I’ve managed to develop a blister on my hand today from the walking poles something I’ve never had before which should give you an idea of the effort!
Setting off from Vega de Valcarce at 7.15am, I got to the foot of O Cebreiro by around 8.30am and then the steep climb to La Faba began. No photos can ever do the ascent justice so you’ll just have to take my word for it that this is less walking in places and more climbing and clambering. Some pilgrims take horses over this mountain, many more leave their packs behind.
I made it to O Cebreiro by around 11am and felt absolutely elated. The weather couldn’t have been better, I was feeling no pain in the feet at that point and the beautiful stone church was there, unchanged of course, to welcome me to the top. I added my prayer to the pile left by pilgrims and sat at the top for twenty minutes admiring god’s handywork.
I am now officially in Galicia, the province of Santiago itself and about 145kms from home.
Tonight I’m staying in Fonfria, and the same Albergue I stayed in two years ago. I know they do a super pilgrim menu so while I try not to do the same things every camino or stay in the same towns if it’s super – why not?
My only concern is the wasp that was walking on my bed-frame a few moments ago. I’ve left the premises and asked him kindly to take his beef outside. Let’s hope he’s not there at bedtime.
Tomorrow I could go to Sarria or I could go to the monastery at Samos which is supposed to be very spiritual but I’m not sure you can stay there. I guess we will see what tomorrow brings. For now I’m going to read up on what to do with hand blisters. It’s so nice to have something different to worry about 😉