|Yoko, Linnea, and Eva in Villafranca del Bierzo|
The day of Foncebadon I met Yoko and Eva and we walked together to Ponferrada. It has been good to have companions on the walk.
|All day rain!|
|from Faba to O Cebreiro at dawn|
|Heading up to O Cebreiro|
|At Barbedelos with Jean Paul, Marie Christine, and Eva and Yoko and a German man|
We walked through some beautiful woodsy sections today. Some quite steep. Up on stony tracks with mossy stone walls lining them, and huge beautiful old chestnut trees. Sometimes it was quite slippery. At the first bar in a long long time this morning, about 8 km from Sarria, the place was packed with wet peregrinos and their backpacks, all sitting around a long wooden table. It was about 11:30 -- we got a late start, not waking up until nearly 8 a.m. this morning, and nearly 8 before we headed out of Triacastela. Oh, I saw I beautiful great blue heron in a stream just outside of Triacastela. Anyway, when it is 11:30 I am never sure whether it is time for another cafe con leche or beer. So, this morning it was beer and a freshly made tortilla (eggs) with Spanish ham sprinkled on top. Very good.
That got me through the next 8 km to Sarria, where I had ensalada mixta and sampled some pulpo (spicy octopus) off a neighboring diner´s plate. We then decided to continue another 4 to 5 km to this little village of Barbadelos, and to stay at a private albergue, which costs more and is pretty spartan, but has a nice dining room where I hope to have a good supper. All in all, it was a beautiful day of walking. Galicia is very green, unlike the meseta through which I was previously walking.
I have been meeting more of the same people again on the trail and in the cafes -- including the Spanish young men who took my picture. Many people are hoping to reach Santiago by Sunday, which will be 10/10/10. So I suspect there will be an even larger than usual crush of pilgrims arriving. We will see. I think we can easily make that -- 4 more days of walking, whether in rain or not. At least walking in the rain is not hot, except when scaling hills, and there have been a few today. Yoko and Eva and I all get very hot, and end up having to take off layers as we climb up, and then put them back on as it starts raining harder, or we get cold when we stop.
I am sitting here now wearing my fleece jacket and longsleeved shirt, and my fingers are getting numb. I´m ready for a cup of hot tea, but I think I can get dinner in another hour. I am in a room with 14 bunk beds, nice bathrooms down a circular staircase that will be fun to navigate at 3 or 4 a.m. I am in a top bunk next to a window with a beautiful view out over a green valley with a big eucalyptus with birds maybe 50 feet away. I´m going to sign off and climb under the covers -- they did provide an extra heavy blanket -- and look out the window and try to stay awake until dinner time.
Thinking of all of you as I walk. It is good to have found some congenial walking companions -- we are quite an unlikely combination, but get along well.
|Our last day of walking -- almost to Santiago!|