Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cebriero to Triacastela (Oct 3)

Morning fog at Cebreiro.

 The casa rurale we stayed in at Cebreiro was very comfortable; though the room was small, it was
well heated.

In the morning there was just one place open for breakfast and it was served by just a single tender. The queue was long and once again we expressed surprise at the lack of interest in the service industry in
a country with 25% unemployment!

The winds from across the Atlantic hits land at Galicia making its weather wet and unstable throughout the year. True to form the weather changed that night and when we left in the morning Cebreiro was shrouded in fog and drizzling. Out came the ponchos for the first time, as well as oil-skin gaiters.

The downhill walk was not as difficult as expected but we were still cautious, taking the road in parts in preference over the designated path now wet and slippery,  Throughout the descent the scenery, whenever it emerged from the fog, was stunning, the green lushness not seen earlier on the Camino. For contrast though, we also had to trod through the village of Fonfria which could be best remembered as one with its main street largely coated with a centimetre of wet cow dung such that we could not but step on it. It
was such a put off that we decided to walk another 2.5 km for our coffee break.

The weather eventually fined up but we decided to skip the last few kilometre of the descent to Triacastella where it was the steepest.

Fonfria village.

Triacastela at the foot of the range had many accommodation for peregrinos. We stayed in a room at a casa rurale but unlike the one at the top of Cebreiro it was uncomfortably cold and damp, and the heaters had yet to be turned on at that time of the year. With the humidity of Galicia and the recent rains, it meant that this was one of few times when our washings would not dry.

We had a bit of time to wander around. The church was dedicated to St James (ie Santiago) and the statue of the saint was given the most prominence. It was always good to have the time to look around the
town or village we were staying in. The gentle stroll seemed to relieve the physical stress, and in a sense the walk would not dominate the mission.

Coincidentally, there were many Aussies at the pub restaurant where we had dinner. Other pilgrims we talked to always mentioned that they had met many Aussies but until then we had not. I took pride in introducing the pulpo dish to others in the bar, and was very glad that several followed me in trying out the dish.

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