July 17, 2008

Day 76: 28 June- O'Cebreiro to Triacastela

I left O'Cebreiro as the dawn was tinging the sky pink behind distant mountains, and could soon see some mist hanging heavily in a valley below.I had a reminder about how high O'Cebreiro really is when I reached this sign, after what had seemed like a reasonable amount of descent. (And I have in fact read some blogs where winter conditions on this side of the mountain, on the Galician descent, have been dangerously difficult.)
It wasn't all flat today and there were a few more climbs that I relished. On the descent there was also one intersection, on the mountain in the forest, that wasn't even marked at all. Just as well the other people there at the time had a better sense of direction than I had, as I was ready to go in completely the wrong direction! The family who had arrived late at the albergue, by taxi, and who had ended up sleeping outside in the cold were, not surprisingly, on the trail early.
There were quite a few villages to pass through, with a distinctive kind of Galician stone architecture.
And from O'Cebreiro until about 16km from Santiago, these distance markers were constant companions, marking down the kilometres to Santiago. It was amazing how distance just seemed to disappear under my feet in this last week of walking!
Galicia reminded me so much of parts of Ireland that I had seen.
I walked up high in sunshine, but could see valleys below where the mist hung around well into the morning.
Right through Galicia there were areas of lovely forest to walk through.
And everything had the promised green I had read about.
Triacastela had a wide choice of albergues, as well as lots of restaurants where you could sit and people-watch.
This cross was a sign that Triacastela was also a pilgrim town.I had seen these two Italian women many times along the way, but in Sarria they went on slightly further that day, and I never met them again....

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