Distance yesterday: 32.9km
Distance today: 27.6km
Total distance remaining: 143.2km
In the last 2 days we have covered quite a few kilometres. Yesterday we set off from Cacabelos, the snoring capital of spain. (no more venting about how badly people snore - its just something that i will have have to come to terms with, but i still tears me up inside! well, ok, just this last time...at the end so you dont have to read about it if you are sick of my complaints) We trekked with the intention of halving the next long stage into the mountains.
We were on the road early and both fairly cranky from a sleepless night. The first hour went by quickly and quietly. by the time we hit Villafranca, our spirits were up and we were ready to tackle the day. After a quick look around Villafranca (pretty cool Knights Templar castle, churches and the such) we chose the high road out of town as this was the recommendation from our guidebook. The book said absolutely nothing about the nature of this path - straight up! after about half an hour we turned around to see the town was still very close, but a very long way down below us. still, as hard as it was the view back down the valley was great. Happy to be back in the hills!
The uphill seemed to carry on and on, the scenery keeping us occupied. but as quickly as we had gone up, we were on a very steep decent into the next village. when we got to the bottom and into town, we took a long lunch (and knee) break. Next was quite a long walk along the highway, not our favourite place to be, but this time around, not too bad at all. we distracted ourselves by playing a bit of traffic cricket (no don´t worry it is nothing dangerous, just more like counting cars). before we knew it, we walked into a valley, veered off the main road and started into several tiny villages. this is where the rain started.
The rain didnt slow us down, rather made us more determined to finish off the day strongly and get to La Faba, half way up the final mountain of our journey. By around 6pm, we made it to our German run refugio, and were welcomed with a hot cup of peppermint tea. lovely. After a long day and an even longer night before, it was fantastic to get a good nights sleep!
This morning we were up at a leisurly time of 7am, had some breakfast and set off at 8am to tackle the summit, a mere 6km away. the sky was dark and there was a misty rain, to be expected of the area. the path was muddy and slippery, but relatively easy compared to the previous day. we reached O´cebreiro (the town at the peak) at around 9, and stopped for a victory coffee and cake, and a look round the church, the oldest structure on the camino dating back to the 900s.
After this we pushed on to enjoy the views from the ridge, at least, thats what we had hoped. Today the rain had set in and being at altitude we were stuck in the clouds for the most of the day. for hours the rain came down and the clouds set in. all we could do was watch the ground in front of us. We decided to have no more breaks until we reached our destination out of the mountains, hoping that if we kept moving our soaked clothes would not make us cold. Our decision was rewarded - as we started to climb down the track the rain stopped and the clouds lifted a little. It was really good to see where we had come from and where we were going. We made it to Triacastela around 230pm, wet, hungry and tired. Thankfully, liz picked a refugio on the far side of town, and by the time we got there, no one else had, so we got hot showers and the run of the washing machine!! simple pleasures.
Tomorrow we head off and plan to get back on track with a few easy days leading into Santiago. our destination tomorrow: Saria.
ok now...NOTE ON SNORING: We stopped in Cacabelos because we had read that the refugio on the outskirts of town was built around the church walls and divided into private rooms of two. this seemed like a nice change from the dorms we had been sleeping in, so we checked in. unfortunately, it was more like one big long room with dividers put up to separate the beds. still, we thought privacy was great. When ligths out rolled around, we discovered that our room was in between 2 of the loudest snorers on the planet, now playfully nicknamed old snorey mate (big spanish guy that moaned in a very disturbing way when he wasnt trying to inhale the bed), and chainsaw face (old english gent who was not so disturbing in his antics, but just extremely loud and consistent from 9pm to 6am). no matter how much i banged on the wall or how far i screwed my earplugs into my eardrums, there was no sleep to be had. we even ran into a few people who stayed at the same place who were on the other side of the church and said they had trouble sleeping for the noise!! but thats enough about that.