O Cebreiro to Triacastela – 17 Kms, 31,197 steps
Today’s walk promised to be “mostly downhill” and much of it was on nice wooded paths with friendly walking surfaces. However, it was not without its ascents and my legs, still tired from yesterday, were sluggish by the end of today. There were also long descents that punished the toes and knees.
I’m filling in a lot of my memories from 2019, places I remembered but not where they were exactly. At my halfway point cafe, a huge tour bus pulled up and disgorged 40 German tourists, who were then given the option of getting back on the bus or walking some of the way on the Camino. About half of them chose to walk, further clogging up The Way in an already very busy season.
That kind of thinking won’t serve me well starting tomorrow, when I arrive in Sarria. It’s the town just outside the 110 Km requirement for receiving an official Compostela (Camino completion document) in Santiago and is where a lot of short-distance walkers and tour groups join in.
The weather continues to be glorious and the Fall colors are appearing. There’s a low chance of rain a few days next week but I hope that will disappear.
Earlier I saw the German lady with her dog Alma (not Greta, as previously reported) and she was about to take a taxi to the next town because there was no place here that would take a dog overnight. She’s also reluctantly flying back to Germany from Santiago; a first for the dog and requiring the purchase of a big “air kennel” for her. It turns out that buses and trains in Spain do not accept dogs as passengers. Seems like a key piece of pre-trip research missed.
A lot of my 21 Kms today was along lovely shaded lanes, perfect for walking except for the relentless downhill slope that was killing my toes and knees. I have to use my hiking poles to take some of the load, and take really small steps, which slows down progress.
My room tonight at the Pension Complexo Xacobeo costs two Euros more than last night’s room and is twice as large, with first-class fixtures and amenities. I shall sleep well tonight and recover a bit, I hope, from my journey to and from O Cebreiro.
Sometimes when the Camino goes through a small town, we’re walking on roads used by farm animals. This means that the pavement is often splattered with stuff you don’t want to step in and you have to be vigilant while walking. The aroma is pretty bad, too.
Tomorrow is the start of my last week on the Camino, just seven days to go. As we get closer to Santiago, as I remember it, we’ll all anticipate the finale, and all loads will become lighter. Cheers.