Villafranca to O’Cebreiro

O’CEBREIRO, Oct 12, 5:11pm

What a fantastic day! It was the one I was most dreading and turned out to be the best yet. It was a 30+km day with the last 10kms to be a steep ascent to this 5000ft peak, the highest on the Camino. It also happened to be raining which was no problem.

In the morning I walked with a man from Australia and we chatted away the first 15kms. He is 68 and we had a lot of common feelings about greed and compassion, youth, and just about everything else. Just before we went out separate ways (I took the rocky trails and he took the road), he told me he was a Pastor for the Christian Church of Christ. Interesting…

There was a beautiful forest of chestnut trees to make note of. I haven’t seen a chestnut tree since I has a kid, I think. It was a pleasure to walk through them. I took a photo.

The rocky paths up to the top were great! Pick, pick, left, right and repeat. It passed through a couple of mountain villages with populations of about 30 each. In the mountains, I crossed into Galicia, the last province and homestretch.

I was alone on these trails and didn’t see a soul until a local came by on his horse with two scruffy dogs. He stopped and started speaking to me in Spanish. He asked if I was “solo” and I said “si.” Then he introduced himself as Salvatore and extended his yellow horse-shit-smelling hand and he smiled with his one brown tooth. I told him my name in Spanish and shook it anyway. Then he started asking me something that I repeatedly told him I didn’t understand. I thought he was saying, “have you had love with a Spaniard?” Finally when I didn’t acknowledge that I understood, he leaned over, pursed his lips and made kissing sounds. EWE! All I could think of was that pig man in the movie Deliverance and got really pissed off at him and said NO really loud and gestured for him to go away. So he said adios and left. People told me I might meet a sexy Spanish guy on the Camino, but I don’t think Salvatore is what they had in mind.

This little town has the most magnificent views. It is as beautiful as the Pyrenees were.

The Albergue I am staying in is not my favorite, to say the least. When I went to shower, I discovered there are no shower curtains. People shower in the open. Geez! (This one was not coed, in case you were wondering.) Oh well, when in Rome…

Tomorrow it’s a gentle decent into Triacastela. Can’t wait.

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