Camino Day 37

Our guidebook described the first part of the walk as ‘rocky and steep and slick with mud and horse shit. Tread carefully and think happy thoughts’. It was all those things but it was also over surprisingly quickly and very lovely. Looking back down the valley was all misty layers highlighted by the rising sun.

It took us a solid couple of hours of walking to get to the top of the mountain at O Cerbriero. Near the top we left Castile y Leon behind and entered Galicia, the last state on the Camino. As usual the main way to tell is that there is a new design to the trail markers, this one with very detailed numbers on how far to go to Santiago.

As we moved on from O Cerbriero the views opened up into endless green rolling hills, forests, clouds in the distance with mountains surfacing from them like islands in the sea. The path became smooth, the temperature was perfect and the walk was absolutely idyllic.

The whole day has been one of the best on the Camino. The only fly in our ointment has been that in addition to the first few hours uphill, we had to cover over 30km today to get to our hotel in Triecastella. The walk was through tree-lined avenues with heather and gorse and mushrooms, joining little villages, often containing little more than a cowshed and a chapel made from gray slate.

The last 10 or so kilometers were downhill on scree paths. The potential for a dangerous slip was driven home to us when we came upon three Germans waiting for an ambulance because one had slipped and broken her arm.

Treading even more carefully, we continued on. Today was the latest we have been on the trail and it was lovely in the late afternoon and early evening, but we were getting seriously weary by the end. We walked just under 30km in in 6 hours 20 minutes of walking. Average pace was 12:53 minutes per km. Elevation gain of 910m (all in the first 8km). And all up it took us 9 hours.

But it was absolutely worth it.

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