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Posts tagged ‘The Way’

Camino – Sarria (Day 26)

Date: Sun 2nd June
Distance: 19 km
Temperature: Warm
Mood: Loving it!
Left: Triacastela 8:45am
Arrived: Sarria 1:15pm
Santiago de Composela: 115 km
Highlight: Easy walk

The weather has improved dramatically over the last few days and today was again blue sunny skies and temperatures in the low 20’s. Perfect walking weather! We have now entered the Galician region, which is typically wet and lush.

We were in no rush today as was an easy walk for a change (less than 20km). And we had another rest day planned in Sarria to celebrate Jenny’s Birthday!

We enjoyed another picnic lunch on the side of the path and before we knew it, we had arrived at Sarria. The walk was very picturesque with panoramic views (like most days!) and the change in scenery in tune with the region.

We enjoyed another Sangria and a chat with a couple from Scotland whom we have bumped into on a number of occasions. One of them told us of their stint holed up in a Burgos hotel for 10 days due to infected blisters! We have also recently heard from our Australian friends whom we left behind in Burgos when we took to the bikes and one of their party is currently suffering from shin splints in a bad way with strict orders not to walk for at least 5 days.

Stories like these are not uncommon on the Camino, so we count our blessings and think of those that are suffering. Both of us are bandage free and feet in excellent condition. Fingers crossed, they stay that way and from the guide books, the worst of the climbs and descents are now over.

Less than a weeks walk to go! We cannot believe how quickly the days go by. We cannot believe how many beds we’ve slept in and places we have visited! It will be a day of mixed emotions when we do finally arrive at Santiago de Compostela, but until then, we are enjoying the journey!

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Camino – Triacastela (Day 26)

Date: Sat 1st June
Distance: 21 km
Temperature: Warm
Mood: Loving it!
Left: O’Cebreiro 9:00am
Arrived: Triacastela 2:15pm
Santiago de Composela: 134 km
Highlight: Lush Green Fields

On top of the world? Awoke to a wonderful sunrise outside our windows with a soft blanket of white clouds below us and the tops of the mountains peaking though giving them the appearance of floating.

After discovering we had little cash due to our accommodation being cash only, we were down to our last Euro’s. We purchased water and breakfast and departed O’Cebreiro with 13c left between us, not knowing when we would see the next Telebanco!

We had expected a steep climb early in the day, but were pleasantly surprised with a gentle incline to the peak of the days walk. All downhill from here! Why is it when you have no money you feel hungrier and find more Cafes open than any other day?

We arrived at Tricastella by 2.15, cashed up (what a relief) and spent the rest of the day lunching in the sun (topping off lunch with a refreshing Sangria), socialising and visiting the local church – today we secured 4 stamps for our credentials!

Not many domestics to perform as we will save these for tomorrow! All in all, a lovely day made even better by the scenery, the splendid sunny weather and not being too exhausted to enjoy and experience the local sights.

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Camino – O’Cebreiro (Day 25)

A massive day was had as we both had to dig deep on all our physical and inner reserves to get us to the top of the world – O’Cebreiro (1350m). We were rewarded with a bath and spectacular views out our balcony windows. No Wi-Fi and a very tired blogger means you will all need to wait for a proper update and Photo’s within the next few days! We’re off to bed to give our weary bodies a chance to rejuvenate! (Mark, our chests are very hairy!)

UPDATED! (1/6/13)
Date: Fri 31st May
Distance: 30 km
Temperature: Warm
Mood: Fantastic (not so for last 5km)
Left: Villafranca 7:45am
Arrived: O’Cebreiro 5:45pm
Santiago de Composela: 155 km
Highlight: Room with view!

First up was a steep climb up and out of Villafranca with fantastic views back across the town. Morning tea was had under a canopy of chestnut trees before tracking down to the valley floor, a steep, rather rocky descent. We walked beside a river which wound its way through lovely little villages and a picnic lunch stop on an abandoned bridge with pleasant views of the river and shade from the heat of the Spanish sun.

After finally reaching Herrerias, one of many picturesque small villages with a beautiful new hostel/bar that looked very tempting to stop at for a week, we began our ascent, however we did not take the Camino path (by accident) but rather stuck to the road which was not as steep, but still a mighty climb. The road was slightly longer but a more gentle incline until we found the Camino path again some km’s later at another small village (Saba). With only 5km to go the incline kicked in severely. Nothing like having to dig deep. It was relentless and seemed to take an eternity particularly as we had already walked 25km. The reward at the top was amazing. We were on top of the world with 360 views.

Now we just had to secure our pre-booked accommodation as we were supposed to have arrived by 4 and it was now heading on for 6pm – the latest and most tired we had arrived for the whole Camino! Gratefully, we were escorted to our room, a delightful rustic Galician style room with French doors to a small balcony with million dollar views, had a quick bath, managed to get to Mass (unintentionally) and enjoyed a lovely dinner before retiring for the night.

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Camino – Villafranca (Day 24)

Date: Thu 30th May
Distance: 31 km
Temperature: Mild/Warm
Mood: Great
Left: Molina Seca 7:45am
Arrived: Villafranca 4:45pm
Santiago de Composela: 185 km
Highlight: Castillo De Los Templarios

Up and out, no breakfast as we had over 30 clicks to cover so an early start was required. Well early for us anyway! First up was the magnificent 12th century Templar Castle. Is this for real? Very much like our sand castles we still make on our beach holidays! Too early to visit, but we needed a stamp for our pilgrims “credentials” so decided on breakfast at a local cafeteria until the Turismo off ice opened. Got our stamp and off we headed for some more spectacular scenery. (As you will see from the other photo’s, spring has certainly sprung in this part of Spain as all the roses have blossomed).

As you do on the Camino, you come across interesting people, today a lady was selling slices of home made cake to pilgrims. How could one resist!

It was a long day and our feet were definitely getting very tired! We finally marched into Villafranca just as it was getting warm! As it turned out, our accommodation was at the other end of town, so another km later we checked in, showered and forced ourselves out for an early diner in the main Plaza under a perfect blue and sunny sky! Great way to finish off the day with diner and a Vino Tinto in a one of the most quaint picturesque towns you can come across! We love it!

If we thought today was big! Early night tonight!

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Camino – Molina Seca (Day 23)

Date: Wed 29th May
Distance: 27 km
Temperature: Freezing cold
Mood: Feeling the adventure!
Left: Rabanal 8:45am
Arrived: Molina Seca 4:15pm
Santiago de Composela: 216 km
Highlight: Cruz de Ferro

We awoke to the sun shinning, but could also hear the wind whipping over our Hostel. A big day awaited us in many ways than one. Today we would reach the highest altitude on the Camino, over 1500m and is marked by a simple iron cross mounted on a weathered pole called Cruz de Ferro. This has become an important symbolic place where pilgrims place a stone or other token at the foot of the cross representing something of significance for them.

No sooner had we stepped out the door of our hostel, we went scurrying back to the warmth and safety to reassess our attire. Time for more layers and full wet weather gear! Take 2 and we were on our way.

Did we say it was cold yesterday? Well today was way colder due to the wind chill. Alison will be happy to know that the walking poles are back in use and are good at keeping the hands warm as long as you keep up a good pace.

A quick pitstop for a hot chocolate and chocolate croissants at a small village before we soon reached the Cruz de Ferro with a light snow falling. (Yes, it was snowing!) The weather was appropriate for the humbling experience shared by us and other pilgrims. The think blanket of fog kept any scenic distractions at bay whilst we placed our stones and tokens at the cross and said our personal prayers. A special pink ribbon was tied to the cross to symbolise a healing prayer for our family in Brisbane. After a few tears (or was that simply the rain or snow flakes caressing the face?) We started the long descent down the mountain.

We passed through a couple of small villages on the way down, but were unsuccessful in purchasing lunch, so we pushed on all the way to Molina Seca. Another lovely village in its own right with it’s own special history. The accommodation gets the thumbs up, but when we were ready for dinner, they had closed up the restaurant (7:00pm). After looking high and low for somewhere to eat we came upon a little general store advertising meals. With our tummies rumbling due to no lunch that day, we took the chance and ended up scoring microwaved frozen meals! As it turned out, they weren’t too bad and our Spanish host was so humble and lovely, that we wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Early night with another big day ahead!

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