Peregrino con rapido – Day twenty six

What a tough old day! 31k (19.5 miles)  and a climb of 1200m, much of it squeezed into the last 7k! I am finally in Galicia, and around 150k from my destination, the fabled city of Santiago.

I am in another tiny dot of a village (pop 50) called O’Cebreiro, it’s a busy tourist destination and at over 1300m asl (top of Ben Nevis), it’s a little chilly too. It’s a Saturday and large groups of Spanish day-trippers are wandering around looking curiously at all the Gortex clad pilgrims.

I left the alburgue in Villafranca at 7am and had to really hunt down somewhere open for breakfast.

There was nothing else for the first 10k, so I didn’t want to go that long without coffee!

I found somewhere to feed my worsening caffeine habit and continued a rapid march up the Valcarce valley.

The path was right next to a road, but the shiny new Autovia up in the sky took away most of the traffic.

Another impressive stretch of Spanish motorway!

The paved road finally turned into  walking track. We then entered a forest so lush and green, it reminded me of New Zealand. It was nice to be surrounded by ferns and moss again!

Another feature of the NZ backcountry, known commonly as mud, also made a prolonged appearance. This made the steep climb hard work A lesser fit me would have cursed and swore aloud, but I made light work of the brown stuff and passed lots of peregrinos sin rapido*.

The village supermarket! Cool to look at but stocked with the usual rubbish.

There are a couple of bars in the village but they are only serving the usual array of fried food, bread and meat. Dinner will be wine, the rest of my lunchtime baguette and chocolate.

Feet: Muddy.

Food: Too depressing to write about.

Feeling: Fit.

*Peregrino Sin Rapido is a little joke I had with my Polish walking/drinking buddies from earlier on the Camino. It’s suppose to mean ‘slow pilgrims’ (pilgrims without speed), but of course is nonsense in Spanish, we assumed.