July 17, 2008

Day 75: 27 June- Trabedelo to O'Cebreiro

This day of climbing O'Cebreiro turned out to be one of the absolute highlights of my whole journey. I rose early and left quietly while others in the albergue still slept. There was a bit more 'road' walking to do,
and EU-funded motorways loomed overhead.
But it was pleasant passing through a few villages in the cool of the morning, instead of what would have been the heat of the previous afternoon.
Soon after Vega de Valcarce the real climbing began.
It was getting warmer, and sweat was dropping off me, but I knew that there was not really far to go....
And the views looking back as I climbed were just spectacular. There was no mist today!
I just took the climb steadily. There were several bars to stop at that all seemed to be doing a roaring trade in cold drinks.
And it was mostly easy enough to find a shady tree to perch under for a rest stop along the way.
Then, near the top I passed this sign. At this point I knew I would make it to Santiago, even if I had to make someone carry me there!!! After so many weeks of walking, the end was in sight in a week's time.
And soon I crossed into Galicia, the last province along the route.
I arrived in O'Cebreiro with time to spare before the albergue opened for the day. And what a brilliant day it was. The views from the top remained clear, and magnificent, the whole day.
I hadn't known anything about O'Cebreiro. I didn't know that there was a mountaintop village here in prehistoric times, and that the Celtic heritage was celebrated here. I had no idea that the Romans had been here, and I had a fruitful time of exploration finding out more.
I hadn't realised this village had been an important shrine for centuries, and in the church was this beautiful Madonna and child.
The time I spent in O'Cebreiro was a mountaintop experience that will remain a very special memory of my trip.

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