O Cebreiro to Triacastela*

Apr 27. Day 31. 21.4 km. Departed 0800 hours, arrived 1355 hours.

O Cebreiro has historical significance. The Parish Priest of O Cebreiro, Father Elias Valina Sampedro was instrumental for the resurgence of the Camino. It was him that first painted the Yellow Arrows. A miracle happened too in the 14th century in the Parish Church, certified by Pope Innocent VIII.

Ideas, thoughts sometimes have to ferment before yielding its fruit. The idea of a Purer Version flittered in my mind this morning on the gorgeous walk.

I asked myself when was the last time I last felt ‘pure’, and it hit me. When I was a child of a certain age range.

Each day dawned as one full of promise. There was a carefree abandonment to and acceptance of everything that happened. There was no hankering to possess more of anything. Holding grudges or keeping ‘tally’ was an alien concept. Interactions were open and transparent. There was no judging. Wasn’t that a Pure version?

We had not prepared provisions for a DIY breakfast, and our lodging’s kitchen didn’t open till 9am. My thought was to walk until we find an open cafe. Lo and behold, as we exited our lodging, we met a German lady who was walking in the opposite direction to where we thought the way out should be. A short discussion revealed she was going to a cafe that opens at 6am! We followed her and thanked the Spirit’s timely intervention.

TIP: Check out the cafes that open early for breakfast in remote villages/hamlets the day before! We later came across others on the trails who were searching for open cafes. It’s likely they slept in lodgings that were further away from this specific cafe.

There were two uphill sections today, the first to Alto San Roque (1270m) with a statue of Santiago battling the wind. The second is to Alto do Poio (1335m). A final steep section of about 350-400m will pump your heart. Fortunately, there’s a cafe at the top of this climb.

After that, it’s relatively flat and downhill, hugging the mountainside for some stupendous views.

Some pictures around O Ceberiro.

Don’t miss this as you reach O Ceberiro! She’s waiting on a ledge by the road.

Joon outside the Church. A bust of Father Elias is on the right side of Church.

The cafe that opens at 6am. But like many businesses, there will only be one staff. P a t i e n c e is one of the virtues re-learned on the Camino.

A rest area as we were exiting O Ceberiro. A reminder of the snow they had.

Headwinds are part and parcel of a Camino.

One of the best parts of today’s walk is the wintery landscapes without the biting winds or cold temperatures. The air is sufficiently chilly to wake one up.

Yellow Scotch Broom flowers in foreground

It’s great to have the trails to oneself by letting others pass by. Solitude with one’s partner is therapeutic.

As one gets lower, the vibrant colors of the valley emerge.

The patch quilt on the mountain slopes was beguiling.

The bent and white tree trunks drew my eyes.

This old lady has been written about. She hands out pancakes, coated with some sugar. There’s no demand for payment, but most will give something in return.

We arrived at Triacastela. There was a mass at 6pm which we attended. Our lodging was literally next door to the Church. The Pastor invited peregrinos to come up and voice their special intentions. That was an unexpected and generous gesture.

After dinner, we caught this blue sky against a clump of trees as we walked back to our lodgings.

Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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