Thursday, September 11, 2008


We got up before sunrise and went down to the end of the street looking for coffee and some bread. The cafe was open, already full of people getting their "fuel" for a good day's walk. As we came to the edge of the mountain, we could see below us a sea of clouds from which an occasional tree top wold protrude. It was a most amazing sight. We took the path down to Linares, which led us to Triacastela. There were some short climbs as well as descents in a spectacular setting of forests, prairies and beautiful cattle fields. In this part of Galicia, the Galician Blonde is the local cattle, mostly raised for dairy products. We walked through many tiny hamlets totally unchanged since medieval times. As poor and small as they all are, each has its pretty little church. At the highest point of this leg we reached the Alto de San Roque, where it stands a huge statue of a Pilgrim facing the elements. On this day Libia and I did not buy any food to have along the way thinking that we would find little cafes among the many little villages. We got hungry very early in the day and as we were walking we stopped to watch a group of people unloading large sandwiches and drinks from a van. We thought they were for sale, but were told they were for a group of young men and women from Madrid who were doing the Camino with two priests, one of whom was Colombian. They insisted we take a sandwich each--this is what pilgrims do--so, we thanked them profusely and ate happily as we walked. At the exit of the next little village, an old lady was selling fresh crepes, so we had a couple of those as well. Around 1:00 PM, we stopped near a house in a field with some beautiful cows with two newborn calves, and sat under some big shady trees. A woman came out with a little girl and told us she owned the property and we were welcome to stay as long as we wanted. The little girl, Soraya, was her grand daughter, and the two of them spoke only in Galician, a very beautiful language somewhat similar to Portuguese. They told us the youngest calf had been born two hours ago. He was so beautiful! After this stop, the descent was rather long. The last five Km seemed endless to us, under a burning sun. We could see Triacastela down below in the distance, but the path seemed to get away from it rather than closer. When we finally got there, we found out the hotel was at the exit of town and the room they had for us was on the 3rd floor and, Guess what? No elevator! We sat down at a little cafe, had a cold beer and found out the owner had a guest house around the corner called Casa David. After a while, she took us to this lovely house with our room facing a beautiful yard. We could wash our clothes and hang them in the sun, which we promptly did. After our showers, we went into town, found a market, bought some great fruit, a 1/2 bottle of wine and some great local cheese and jamon serrano to eat the evening.

Early morning at O'Cebreiro

A sea of clouds

Alto de San Roque

Galician scene. Newborn calf

Bucolic nap

Soraya with doll

A beautiful Galician church

Down to Triacastela

My favorite type of path

A Galician hamlet

Casa David

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