Today we had a relatively short 20km hike to the town of O Pedrouzo, also known as Arca. Okay, it was short compared with yesterday.
The weather was nice, the vibes were chill.
Here we are leaving in the morning:
Eucalyptus forests, a beer albergue (?), and some bikers (fairly friendly).
Lunch first, then some shopping for dinner. (Not pictured, washing clothes so that our host families have a nice first impression of us…).
O Pedrouzo/Arca was having a fair! We showed up a bit too early–apparently the festivities only really got started around midnight. We could hear said festivities until around 3:30 a.m. Unfortunately we had to go to bed early to get up for an early start tomorrow.
Leaving for the carnival:
A bit empty:
But Annie takes the opportunity to beat Rouselle at air hockey. She takes her air hockey seriously.
The thing about today is that there was a city called Melide in the middle of it, about 15 km in. This is about the length of a short day on the Camino. So it kind of sort of felt like we should be done when we got to Melide. But we weren’t–we were just halfway there.
That’s okay, we took it easy, had a few breaks, and made it to Arzua without any tears.
Leaving early after breakfast:
Our eyes are bright, our tails are bushy.
Happy peregrinos on the trail:
Taking a break:
Finding the right route after a wrong turn out of Melide:
Hello Mr. Horse!
Here is a horrero: it’s a Galician grain storage silo. It holds the grain up in the air where it’s less damp and where there’s more air circulation. There are also stone disks at the top of the legs to stop the rats from climbing to the grain.
Good morning! Time to walk from Sarria to Portomarin!
Today was a fairly nice 20km: a little bit up, a little bit down.
A little bit of mud can’t stop our smiles!
The last little bit got kind of steep:
The bridge to Portomarin:
The town of Portomarin was built twice: the riverside fishing village was moved up the hill in the 1960’s to accommodate a hydroelectric dam project. Many of the buildings were abandoned after having their roofs removed (to prevent sudden, surprising, super-sized bubbles in years to come). Other prominent buildings, most notably the romanesque church, were moved stone by stone and rebuilt.
After class and dinner, we have a little rest and a write in our diaries:
On 27 May we had a short sharp climb (13 km) to O Cebreiro. It was somewhat foggy early on, but the views at the top later on were great.
Getting ready to go:
Up and up:
Time for selfies:
Group photos at the top:
Lunch and then an ambulatory class around the very small town of O Cebreiro.
The church up at O Cebreiro is reputed to be the home of the (a?) holy grail. A medieval farm worker impressed the priest of the church after walking through a dangerously snowy day to take communion. “You could have died!” the priest exclaimed. From that day on the holy grail has been in residence at the church.
In the picture you can see the bust of Don Elías Valiña Sampedro, whose research in the 1960’s led to the rediscovery and renaissance of the modern Camino.
A pre-Roman palloza: livestock and people shared the same house; there was no chimney, the smoke just left through the thatched roof.
The group split up for the first half of the day. Some of us took the high road along the ridge; some of us walked along the river in the valley. We all joined up in the town of Trabadelo for the last 6.5 kilometers or so.
A couple of days ago in Molinaseca we had a contest to design our own VT Camino sellos.
A “sello” is the stamp we get in our pilgrim credentials at albergues and cafes along the Camino. A pilgrim is meant to get at least one stamp a day (along with the date) to prove that you’ve walked the whole way when you get to Santiago.
Our designs were meant to reflect both our experience as peregrinos and our status as Hokies. Here are our final three contestants. Which one do you think should win?