October 17- Linda
Well, we now know what it´s like to walk in the rain!! We entered the province of Galicia yesterday, and our guidebook had mentioned the frequent rains and the green countryside, and it IS beautiful, but the rain can really wear you down when you´re in it for five or six hours! Yesterday we walked about 25 km before starting our ascent to the village of O´Cebreiro, and the climbing part was about 1.2 km of vertical, mostly on trails which had become small rivers, and lots of rocks and muck to dodge. Not a lot of fun! I really struggled at one point and realized I had just simply run out of gas, and once we stopped for a snack and hot chocolate I was fine. Guess finding out what your limitations are is part of this! Even when things are looking pretty glum, things happen on the Camino that lift your spirits - just when I was having the most trouble, I noticed a small round rock with a bright yellow happy face smiling at me! Shortly after that, Russ and I were stopped on the trail while he was helping me retrieve my hat from my pack, when along came four HUGE cows (complete with very large horns), right towards us! An elderly woman was leading them, and casually gestured for us to move aside (I´m sure she saw the look of fear on my face), so we just waited while they plodded past, and her husband brought up the rear (no pun intended). I´m sure they deal with these pesky pilgrims everyday, but it was definitely the highlight of our walk yesterday.
O´Cebreiro was a very foggy and damp place, and we stayed in a hotel rather than the albergue in the hopes that our belongings could dry out a bit better. Today we had another rainy walk, descending down the mountain, but the fog lifted often enough for us to enjoy some lovely vistas of green pastures divided by lines of trees, which made a beautiful patchwork on the hills. We have also observed what looks like young bulls in the pastures, so we think they may raise them for bullfighting. Tomorrow we walk to Sarria, which is 113 km from Santiago. It is at that point that many pilgrims join the trail who wish to walk the minimum 100 km required to receive a certificate in Santiago. Not only will there be more pilgrims on the trail, but getting accommodation can be challenging. As tomorrow´s walk is only 18.7 km, we may go past Sarria to the next small town.
Til next time....