Hola from Ocebreiro – Donna

Published on Behalf of Donna Blackstock – Donna is walking the Camino Frances – a 5 weeks and 800 km journey that attracts over 250,000 participants.

 

Hola,

The walk to the top of Ocebreiro began in La Portela de Valcarce. It was rough going in spots to La Faba and then there were 5 more k’s to the top. Soon after we started there was a very large tour group walking down from the top toward us and some were remarkably senior. We were all taking photos of the remarkable views and the paths were generally in excellent shape. Soon we came to the marker transitioning us into the region of Galicia and then on to the tiny village of Ocebreiro. Here again we saw many tourists descending from tour buses as well as a variety of Camino souvenirs.

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I continued another 7k with very minimal descent to Fonfria which was a tiny one country lane community with a very nice albergue. Here I was able to top up my foot care needs from a farmacia vending machine at the front door of the albergue.

The following day I was provided with the choice of a shorter, more direct route with yet another uphill or a longer route with a well-known monastery. I went with the direct route to secure a spot at the albergue in San Mamede. The albergue was very nice and had 2 kittens and a cage of canaries. Breakfast was included in the bed price and laid out the night before which meant you could go in at any time you wished in the morning.

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Soon after breakfast I reached Sarria. It is just after that point that a Pilgrim reaches the 100k to go mark. It is also a VERY popular starting point for people to gain a walking compostela in Santiago for completing the minimum requirement of 100k. Since I have reached Sarria the number of Pilgrims has dramatically increased. In addition, on Wednesday there is a National holiday and many Spaniards have taken holiday time for the week to walk from Sarria to Santiago starting on Sunday. It is a walking holiday and a huge party atmosphere.

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There are many small towns as I walk through Galicia and the smell of pies is everywhere. Cow pies, that is, as small dairy farms dot the landscape. Barns and fields line our path and we often weave our way through the earthy aroma of pies.

On the culinary front. I have discovered Santiago cake, an almond flavoured dessert. Then there is el pulpo which is chopped up octopus. The more west we travel the more popular it becomes as a main course or an appetizer. Last night I went with the pork cheeks over the el pulpo.

The feet are not too bad with about 70k to go. The 25k per day pace, the amount of up and down and the long sections of loose rock all take their toll. I am enjoying the walks each day, happy with the pace I am travelling and grateful that I am using walking sticks.

Adios from Palas de Rei!

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