I have had a slight malfunction of my camera download software so today there are no pictures - at least until I can figure out why they won't download onto my iPad. When I sort it out I shall download the pictures but for now sadly, all you get is a bit of text which will hardly do justice. Again, written offline as we had no Internet yesterday either.
Today also turned out to be a longer day than we had planned. It was sunny and cool when we set out from La Faba and we stopped for a cafe con leche at the local bar before we resumed our ascent at the edge of the tiny village perched on the side of the mountain. Of the 40 or so pilgrims at the Albergue, we were nearly last to start the day's trek by the time we left at about 8:00.
The upward climb resumed after the last village house and continued much on a steep 40 percent incline over the next 2 kilometers, except for a couple of flat spots where one could catch their breath.
(imagine some steep incline pictures - a rocky hollowed out path in the ground)
When we reached O Cebrerio, it turned really cold and windy. We had to get out our hats and gloves and coats! The village is very quaint with all stone buildings. Quite a touristy place - we saw our first tour bus of Peregrinos at this village.
(imagine village pictures)
Once we got out of the deep part of the valley and more up on the mountain top the views were spectacular. We still had a lot of up to go.
(imagine 5 or so mountain pictures, each more beautiful than the last)
When we finally reached the summit, which was at Alto do Polo we had climbed to 1335 meters above sea level. Joy of all joys, as we pulled ourselves up out of the gully we had been climbing for an hour there was a pub right there! Beer and lemonade is our favorite hiking drink.
By 1:30 we had walked only about 18 k in 6 hours, but it was mostly steep inclines, so the pace was slow. Once we got to our intended stop at the Albergue Reboleira at Fonfria, Ian and Barb wanted to continue. I reluctantly agreed. My feet were very tired and I was ready to call it a day.
I plodded slowly the rest of the distance to Tricastela which was another 8 or so k with Ian and Barb walking ahead making much better time. By the time I got to the village at 4:30 they had already determined that all the Albergues were full (most Peregrinos walk only until 2pm at the latest and the accommodation fills up quickly between 1:30 and 3:00) and had booked the only accommodation available - a room at a rural casa - the Casa Pacios - some 2 km from the village.
Thankfully, the owner drove the handful of Peregrinos who had opted to stay at the Casa to and from the village, once for dinner and again in the morning to return us where we left off. The owners also had a restaurant in town and so it made good business sense as the Peregrinos were delivered to sister Elenor's restaurant to buy the 10 € Pilgrim's meal. It was all good, the food was fine and we were just glad to have a place to stay and not to have to walk to town for dinner.
It was a gorgeous place. We had a large room with a private bath. It would have been the perfect getaway for a Peregrino couple to have a night away from communal sleeping arrangements. However, we three are certainly not In that category, so while nice, it was a bit inconvenient so far from town and with no bar Orr cafe handy and no Internet. It was also a bit pricey compared to the Albergues at 20 € each, included the 4 € Breakfast.
You need to see the picture to appreciate this place. All I have now (due to the download malfunction) is a photo I took of the business card.
For those of you wondering about the "Bus Tour Peregrinos": There are tours you can take to do the Camino. A bus drops you off on the trail each day and your backpack is taken to your hotel, you also get to skip sections and take the bus, missing the worst bits if you want. More about those folks in a later blog.
For those wondering about my camera malfunction: I have a 32 GB SD card in my camera and a whole whack of pictures on it. I download to my iPad but also keep the pictures on the card as a safety measure. Suddenly today the iPad download software stopped working, no errors - nothing appears to be detected. I have a 16 GB card as well which was empty and I seem to be able to take pictures and download them no problem. So I am expecting that it has something to do with the number of pictures on the card. When I get the change I will buy a thumb drive and off load some of the photos and I suspect that will some the problem. Meanwhile, I don't have the enroute pictures for days 31 and 32 available to post..