This morning we woke up at the albergue in Las Herrerias, got some breakfast and started to walk, knowing full well that most of the morning would be climbing uphill. To my surprise, I found my mountain legs! Either that or I was running on mountain adrenaline, much like I do when hiking in the Rockies at home.
The climb from Las Herrerias to O’Cebreiro is tough. Much of the 600m elevation gain is on rocky trails, similar to our mountain trails. It passes through two small villages, which make some good spots to stop and refresh after a strenuous hike uphill. As per normal, Ally found the village dogs…..
Just before O’Cebreiro we passed in to the province of Galicia. I have been looking forward to this as it means we are in the final stretch! If all goes well, we could be in Santiago in a week.
When we got to O’Cebreiro, there was a road side vendor selling fruit, nuts and honey. Ally bought some cherries, they were very good. Often along the trail there will be a food truck, or vendor, or even a cart with food and water and you put in a donation to cover what you take. The honour system must work well or people wouldn’t have these carts set up along the way. Only once have I saw a pilgrim ahead of me grab a water bottle and go on without paying, then I saw the discarded water bottle along the road.
After O’Cebreiro, we followed the trail alongside the highway. It was mostly new, likely built to keep pilgrims off the twisty, turny mountain highways. It passed through a few small villages, going up and down for most of it. We stopped at Alto San Rogue where there is a pilgrim statue. The pilgrim looks weathered and beaten down after climbing the mountain. Previous pilgrims have even bandaged his toes.
After that ascent, we traveled down again, then up through more villages. The terrain is still mountainous and rocky, but there are more farms and livestock here. In fact, as I write this from our albergue in Biduedo, a herd of cows just passed by.