Thursday October 14, 2010
Day 28 on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Vega de Valcarce to Alto do Poio
Dear Blog Readers,
Up early today to have a quick breakfast at the panaderia across from the Casa Rural where we spent the night. Low hanging fog fills the morning - but must get going as today is the big ‘climb’ to the peak of El O´Cebreiro which takes the pilgrims into Galicia, the final province on the Camino. It is quite chilly for the first 2.7 kms. - trekking becomes difficult as Camino trail is steep, filled with large rocks. But I stop often for the breathtaking scenery - very like Switzerland - rolling green meadows filled with sheep and cows wearing bells. Clank, clank rings over the mountainside. The Camino again travels through several small hamlets - now filled with sheep pellets and cow patties - the smell is overwhelming and the going is not only tough with the steep climbs but now pilgrims must dodge the cow patties. Gosh for the first time I understand the job of dung-beetles - do they ever do a good job on cow patties!
Again the guide books lie - after the peak at El O´Cebreiro, trek is supposed to be downhill - cow patty - it climbs and climbs - cross into Galicia and continues to climb. Now in the hamlets Celtic music fills the streets - very unusual. Their roots must go back to some olden times when the Celts came to invade or trade. We are above the clouds. Finally, after one horrendous steep climb, as the poor pilgrims on the trail huff and puff up the narrow track, we arrive at the top of Alto do Poio. The hotel where we will spend the night is across the road. An Englishman (Dick) says we are at 4, 440 ft - it is actually cold but the sunset is jaw dropping at this height. Lulu and Joan arrive, but continue on down to the next town. Trek has taken 7 hrs. for 20 kms. but adjusted for the numerous climbs it is more like 28 kms. There are about 149 kms. to Santiago.
Blessing from the Camino,
My personal thoughts for today - As I journal today’s walk I check the guide book. It states there is nothing in the history of Galicia to point to the Celts ever being here. Most strange - so where did they get the music and magical folklore? Fairies, elves, witches and wizards abound in every store.