O’CEBREIRO to TRIACASTELA — 14 Miles
It still felt like Winter as I walked outside into the heavy mist that hung in the air. Although it was 7:30am, nothing was open in this little village so it was no use trying to get any cafe con leche before starting today’s trek. The place seemed deserted. Dick and I stood there a few moments until finally I saw a Trekker pass by and I quickly followed him.
I thought today would be mostly downhill and that it would follow a lot of the highway so there wouldn’t be much mud. Boy was I wrong on both counts. Immediately upon leaving the village of O’Cebreiro I was going uphill and walking in mud. I was carrying my full 20 pound pack because I thought it would be such an easy day but I was huffing and puffing from the get-go!
The terrain continued uphill and the mud got even worse.
I had worn my down jacket with hood and my leaky raincoat over that. I really couldn’t tell if it was raining but when I touched my hair and the hood of the down jacket they were completely wet.
Luckily I had my poncho tucked in the front of my jacket so it was easy to pull it out and slip it on over everything. I was so looking forward to taking photos of the countryside this morning but because of the dense fog I couldn’t see more than 50 feet ahead of myself. The muddy path continued with lots more uphill than I expected so I was ready to stop for a break by the time I came to the first village, about 3 miles away. That’s when I packed away the wet down jacket and changed into my fleece jacket, then covered that with the leaky raincoat and put the wet poncho back on over everything. It was nice having my full pack with me so I had everything handy.
The terrain started going up and downhill but the mud continued.
When I came to this person trying to dodge the mud I knew I couldn’t do it so I back tracked to a spot where I could get on the highway. And I loved walking on that blacktop! The crazy thing was that while the road stayed at a slight decline, the path to my right kept going up and down. Sometimes it would be at highway level and sometimes it was 30 or 40 feet above that. But why? I was soooo glad to be on the highway even though it was a little more dangerous.
Below is a huge statue that was across the highway from me. When trekkers stood there to have their photo taken their heads came up to its knee. It’s probably my favorite photo of the day.
After walking about 7 miles Dick texted me to meet for coffee. I told him I was on the road and asked if the road would take me into the village where he was. He didn’t answer that question. All of a sudden he texted and said I had passed the village. How could I have? The path was to my right (I thought) and I hadn’t seen any village. Just then I got a text from Tim and Joanne Joseph who were vacationing in Portugal and they were following me on Find My Friends. They told me the village was up ahead and that I hadn’t passed it! That made me feel so much better. This technology!
Looking glum as Dick met me coming into the village. This was the first time I had worn the poncho and I thought it was so cool that the blue poncho matched my blue 99 Cent Store gloves. That perked me up right away!
After half a banana, some fresh squeezed orange juice and tons of water I set out again. Shortly I came upon a little old lady standing by the side of the path passing out tortillas. Actually it was more like a crepe that she put a couple grains of sugar on, then folded it and handed it to me. She was so cute. I gave her a Euro and admired her tenacity — tending to trekkers while making an income for herself.
At this point I had to stay on the path because the road zigzagged around before it reached Triacastela. The fog still hung heavily in the air and it was still hard to see or photograph anything.
It was downhill for the next 6 miles and with all the mud I went a little slower because I didn’t want to slip and fall. Finally things cleared and daylight opened up.
It had been 6 hours of walking in ugly conditions and I was so glad when I finally saw Dick and we checked into our Hostel called Casa David. No blow dryer but the room was slightly bigger than yesterday and the hot shower felt great!
Lunch was even better with steak and this beautiful salad.
It’s a funny thing about the “Menu del Dia” that we have every day after I finish walking. For 10 Euros per person you get a starter course, like this salad, a Main Course, like Steak and a dessert. You also get bread and, get this — either a bottle of water or a bottle of wine. Now which would you choose???