Thursday, October 4, 2012

La Portela to O Cebreiro (Oct 2)

From La Postela our next objective was O'Cebreiro a peak on the next mountain range that marked the border with the next and final province, Galicia. The Camino path ran alongside the main road, passing through a series of villages most of which had holiday type accommodation for tourists and pilgrims as accommodation at Cebreilo can be hard to come by durring peak season.

The last 600m to the top was supposed to be quite steep and as Kay did not want to risk it so I
did it alone while she cruised up in a taxi from the village of Herrerias. The first 3 km was a steady uphill but the problem was that it was uncomfortably humid as it was through with a dense temperate rain forest. The track was unmarked and for a while I thought I was lost. Eventually I came to the village of La Faba, where I came face to face with three fat cows on a narrow path! The cowherd helped shoo the cows to one side but I ended up ducking behind him for security.

Beyond La Faba the land was cleared of trees and I had a spectacular view of the mountains an valley below. The climb was not too difficult but it was incessant and slow and I needed frequent rests, including having a soup break at a bar at Laguna, the last village before the peak.

Just before reaching the peak, I passed the maker stone that told I had entered Galicia.

The top of Cebreiro is a cluster of stone buildings all part of the tourist and pilgrimage industry. There were souvenir shops, bars and accommodation. Unlike most other places we passed through, it was not dominated by a church.  The historical link to the early pilgrims seemed tenuous.

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