Day 26 – Villafranca del Bierzo to O’Cebreiro

Can you believe I woke up this morning at 6am decided it was far too early so had another half an hour lying in bed and when I looked up I was the only person left in the albergue. 

Pitch black outside and very windy which made the wind chill factor very cold.  Had the gloves scarf, earmuffs, hat everything on but only shorts as I set off over the mountain today.  

As I said earlier on there ain’t no mountain high enough and I can climb every mountain!! And today was the day.

Pretty uninteresting walk to start with as a lot of it was on the side of the road. The only saving grace was the beautiful Rio Valcarce which flowed beside me all day with the lovely sound of running water and very green and lush on one side and road on the other side.
Walked for quite a long way this morning before I stopped for my brekky.  No tortillas this morning so settled for a croissant.  

As I was walking this morning saw some amazing bridges so if anyone is reading this from the office I am putting up a photo to show our bridge department. Huge spans across valleys

Looking at my trusty map once I got past La Herrieria it was all uphill.  

The Very rocky ascent of 265m over 2.5kms.  Sweating and heart racing up a very steep long hill but guess what at the top of the hill when I reached La Raba there was a bar in the shade with freezing beers on tap.  It was rest time!!!!

I love all the al fresco lifestyle here in Spain even the smallest cafe/bars have chairs and tables outside even if they are across the road.  This is how it was when I reached the top of the hill at La Faba.  Big cerveza in the shade as even though the morning was cold the day became very hot.  

Of course that first part of the hill just lulled you into a false sense of security as when I left town there was more in fact it turned out to be 6kms of uphill (mountain) on rocky uneven steep tracks that wound up the side of the mountain.  By this stage I was feeling like a mountain goat!

When I left this morning I thought I would just see how the day pans out as to how far I walked so when I got up to Laguna de Castilla and saw it was only another 2.5kms to O’Cebreiro I thought- ha I can do that!!!  It was here that I saw the sign 154 to Santiago. Can’t believe only that much to go! Not only that but crossed over into Galacia today. 

Well my heart was racing I was breathing very heavily, it was extremely steep and the sun was relentless but the views were unbelievable.  One hell of a mountain to climb but worth it.  My little iPhone didn’t do it justice.  

Came over the last hill and around the last corner and I was at the top of the mountain and just amazing. Worth the blood, sweat and tears to get there.  

So I am sitting at the top of the mountain in the glorious sunshine having a vino Tinto and just had a plate of pulpo which is the Galacian delicacy- octopus. 

I don’t think I have ever had a more delicious dish of octopus in my life.

Again a very tiring day.  I showered, washed and wandered around town.  No wifi here. 

We are so high up and the views from both sides of the mountain are spectacular. 

Of course today I officially passed over into Galacia and the countryside is spectacular 

O’Cebreiro dates back to the 9th century.  This town is another significant gateway on the Camino and has ministered to pilgrims since the twilight of the first millennium   

There is also the church Iglesia de Santa Maria Real Which marks the final resting place of Don Elias Valina Sanpedro the priest in this town who did so much during his lifetime to preserve the integrity of the Camino. It was his idea to mark the route with the yellow arrow and it was largely as a result of his efforts that I am walking the Way today.

So now I am sitting in the sun with a vino Tinto. I have just run into Csubbi and Anna so we will have a drink and catch up later. 

In the mountains this evening so a little chilly.  Still in shorts though!!!

Tired little amigo tonight after all those mountains I conquered today so buenos noches. 

Author: Baguettes cheese and wine

Cycling through Brittany and the Loire valley in June

One thought on “Day 26 – Villafranca del Bierzo to O’Cebreiro”

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