Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Climb every mountain: day 26

We left Villafranca guided and bathed by the light of the near-full moon. Last night I'd slept in a room with about 20 other pilgrims most of whom were Spanish cyclists who had watched the football over a few beers in the evening. One of them snored so loud it was like mount Krakatoa was erupting. Within 5 minutes walk of the albergue Liz and I were ascending some old stone steps when three cyclists came up behind us. The first misjudged the height of the step and ground to a halt. The bike fell on it's side in slow motion with him still on it. Still grogy from the beer, his two comrades then crashed into the back of him also in slow motion. We all fell about laughing. What a start to the day!
We ascended into Galicia. For miles and miles we walked alongside a river that gurgled soothingly and took the edge off the heat. We came across some pilgrims we haven't seen since the first few days. We walked past a shepherd and shepherdess guiding their beautiful cattle there different ways. In the heat of the afternoon sun we began the 10km sharp incline to Do Cebreiro our first Galician village yet. Within 2 hours of arriving, as if to remind us we were in a different region, the heavens opened and drenched the green mountains below. We were already in shelter of the albergue by then. We had hooked up with a Dutch guy called Reniere who had started in Leon and was full of the energy and enthusiasm of a newbie. Full of mischief and good humour he walked one step with his long legs to my three.
The energy of the camino has got lighter, less contemplative and more social as we get closer to our destination. Ego has crept back in. Some south Africans shower praise and awe on us as we tell them we've walked 650km already - I flush with pride. an American shakes my hand as I tell him I've been walking every day from Sant Jean - I glow. A young german guy I beat up the
mountain (yeah there is a part of me that is competitive, I really put some welly into that climb) complements my fitness level - I almost felt my head double in size. ahhh not so humble now that I've finally got the hang of this walking business am I.'Need to watch that. More pulpo tonight to end a joyous climb into my spiritual homeland. Galicia te quiero!

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Location:Villafranca to Do Cebreiro

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