Today we were planning to officially enter Galicia by climbing through the most strenuous climb of Camino. Our hike was supposed to be flat for first 5 and last 8 km and the rest was supposed to be a climb.
We left Vega de Valcarce at 6:30. It was an overcast day with slightly warm breeze.
I have attempted to load pictures with no success so far, so this post will have to be narrative with pictures to be added when I have a better connection.
We went through the first two towns fairly quickly as it was still dark. We made out first stop in La Faba after a slight climb at around 7 km. From there we walked up steadily for 5 km for our major climb of the day. At around 10:30 it started to rain and the the wind picked up, and at the time of this writing, neither has stopped.
The view was gorgeous with lush green valleys all around us. Rain and climbing were a constant but those did not dampen our spirits. It was almost a repeat of the ecstasy and agony (previous post).
On the way to the top we were greeted by the welcome sign for Galicia, welcoming us to our 3rd and final phase of the Camino. One awareness I had, as we were climbing in the rain and wind, is that I used to think linearly about these phases. The reality is, we constantly evolve and these phases are more circular.
The town of Ocebrero sits at the top. The next 10 km was supposed to be flat, but the books were misleading! The whole day turned out to be hilly. By afternoon we were dodging puddles and cows along our path having a grand time with pain and pleasure. We have met so many folks who have done Camino multiple times. They all cherish the razor’s edge of beauty coupled with rigorous workout along with the camaraderie as the reason they keep coming back.
After 22.5 km and 343 ( a new record) floors of climbing we are in an Albergue at the alto de poio where there is not much to do but mingle with strangers. We are chatting with an Irish student on one side and a couple from Denmark on the other. Lunch and dinner menus were the same but after the hard day still tasted delicious.
It’s time to sign out for tonight! I will post the pictures from today as soon as I get access to a better connection.