Today was going to be Galacia’s opportunity to humble us through its climb. It was the hardest climb in Galicia and our last major climb as we near Santiago.
Marc and Sakkar wanted to skip this stage due to its notoriety in the books. This stage was mostly climbing with no downhill until the end.
Pat and I left at 7:40 in the morning so we would have enough light.
The day was nothing like yesterday’s glamorous sunrise. It was an overcast day with a cool breeze. While it was not glamorous, it was serene and beautiful. The essence of the day cannot be captured by a camera and must be described for the senses to feel its beauty.
We began the climb immediately through a country road devoid of traffic. The cool morning breeze through green trees and and the chirping birds made us feel like we were in a magical world.
The absence of sun and the cool weather made the climb a lot easier for us. At about 2.8 km we met the artist who has a little place away from everything and offers pilgrims the opportunity to stay at her place and provides food on a donation basis. If we had come across this at the end of the day, yesterday, as we entered town, this would have been a perfect experience to enjoy local culture and hospitality. But at 8:30 in the morning, we continued on after a brief chat.
After a brief snack at around 9, we continued on. The climb was not as hard as it was described. The birds had stopped chirping and the forest was deafeningly quite. All one could feel was a cool breeze and hear ones own breathing and the rustling of leaves. It was a meditative and mesmerizing time.
At about 10 km we stepped off the country road onto a country path and immediately felt as if we had entered a land that time had forgotten. Abandoned bridges and houses were overgrown with vines and bushes. We felt as we had entered into a time warp.
We began our gradual descent into Abadin, another 5 km away, our destination for the day. We stopped for a picnic lunch around 12:30 where we met Andrew, a British chap who joined us for lunch and a lively chat.