We could have stayed in the fairy tale town of O’Cebreiro and lived like hobbits, but we had kilometers to go before we sleep. So it was toast and cafe con leche at our favourite little funky restaurant in O’Cebreiro followed by a view of the “almost sunrise” before saying “adios” to the little village. We were fortunate again today to have clear skies and a comfortable temperature for walking, so it wasn’t long before we were peeling off several layers of clothing.
The trail wound around the forested hill where O’Cebreiro is perched before dropping down into Linares, 3.1 km away. Soon afterwards we arrived at Alto de San Roque where an imposing statue of a medieval pilgrim looks out over the vast expanse of Galicia and its deep valleys.
Almost all of today’s walking was on natural paths on the flanks of the mountains, leading us through several small villages as well as busy farm yards. Farmers bring their cattle to pasture via the Camino trail, so we had to carefully avoid cow pies and bear the smell of manure as best we could.
It was easy walking except for one short uphill grind before Alto do Polo. Thank goodness there was ice cream for sale at the cafe at the top of the hill. How perfect is that!? The toughest part of the walk was the 6.6 km downhill stretch from Biduedo to Triacastela, our destination for the day.
Triacastela is named for three castles, none of which survived. The town was an important stop for medieval pilgrims coming down off the mountain with several hospices and an extensive monastery. It is an attractive place to stop today with a wide selection of bars, restaurants and hostels serving the increasing number of pilgrims, including us, who are passing through.
Since crossing over into Galicia, we’ve noticed concrete posts every half kilometer showing the distance to Santiago. They remind us that we are on track and making progress. According to the concrete marker here in Triacastela we are 130 km from Santiago and according to our calculations we’ve walked 684 km.