Today we had the choice of three routes. We’re on our way to O Cebreiro. One of the highest points of the camino Francis and a climb I’ve been dreading for a while! Tonight we’re planning on staying overnight in the foothills so that we can tackle the steep ascent with fresh legs.
So leaving Villafranca I choose to follow the old road out of town but my intrepid Colorado grims decided they were going to tackle the harder path. Up into the hills above and a steep descent into Trabadelo, where we agreed to meet up for lunch… They apparently build them tough in Colorado!
I climbed up out of town, over a bridge and followed a small track beside the road. All around me the hills rose up, the summits shrouded in mist… I think of my new friends and hope the weather is being kind to them up there.
It was raining when I left town but cleared up after about 30 minutes. The sun tried hard to break through but it was never going to happen.
My road was quiet… Maybe a dozen cars in a couple of hours. It follows the route of the river and for the most part it was actually very pretty. Every now and then I had to walk under the motorway bridges and the passing traffic rumbled overhead… Not like cars but more like a distant rumble of thunder or an explosion… Not at all what I was expecting.
The path diverted into a tiny village and all around are chestnut trees, walnut trees and blackberries. There may be no such thing as a free lunch but today there was certainly a free breakfast.
Trabedelo was kind of closed… There was just one bar open selling baguettes… So that was lunch. We spoke with a lady that had taken a tumble on the 2 hours of horrible path. He face was very badly injured, swollen and bruised, and she had a broken nose. How she’s managing to carry on walking I don’t know!
We walked on in the drizzle, slowly climbing higher and higher. We bumped into Chris and John… Brothers in law who’ve been walking together. I dont think I’ve seen them since Fromistra?
The landscape has changed again, gone are the grapes and vines and we are back in the high hills were the sheep and the cows tinkle and clunk as they move around as do to the different size bells strung around their necks.
We had planned to stop in an Albergue but instead we stopped for the night at Las Herrerías in a rather grandly named Centro de Turismo Rural Paraiso del Bierzo. We managed to bag 2 rooms in the local hotel for just 21 euro each. And luxury of luxury, we have a radiator in the room so we will have dry clothes in the morning! We met two ladies from Holland and shared a lovely meal in their company… they were travelling on a kind of camino package for a week and their accommodation was pre-arranged and their luggage transported each day… and they had a GREAT guide book!
I was hoping to answer some of your questions but time has got the better of me… Maybe tomorrow? But there’s a huge hill to climb tomorrow so don’t build your hopes up… And we only have 163 kilometres to go!