Thursday, 28 June 2012

Into Galicia and our last week!

Since our last post we have crossed the last two big hills on the camino. It was hot for a couple of days but has once again settled to Kat-friendly sub 30s temps.
From Rabnal we climbed to the highest point on the camino, the Cruce de Ferro. This is a very important point for pilgrims who carry a stone and deposit it at the base of the cross. This is symbolic of laying down the burdens or sins one has carried on the camino. It is amazing. I saw everything from the small shards and pebbles we carried through to a huge tablet like memorial that I think was to a child who died young but it was in German. The cruce is actually just a small iron cross on a big wooden pole which is probably why the recent film used a different cross for their scene referring to this tradition!
We descended to the cute village of molinaseca for the night and watched all the locals in the river cooling off from the heat.
The next day we passed through the fertile Bierzo valley to villafranca del camino. Vineyards return to the scenery and a Templar castle. We passed by an amazing sculptors workshop in the middle of fields on the way.
Yesterday we did the last big ascent (1200m) to O Cebriero, the first village in Galicia. It has lots of cute stone and thatch buildings. We stayed in a very comfy room rather than a dorm and enjoyed the locally prepared food. For anyone coming through town, the ladies I encountered at the bar opposite the tienda are lovely and make great soup and also a kicker of a coconut and pineapple cake.
Today we've had a fairly easy decent through the lush hills of Galicia to another cute white wash and stone village with rounded top church tower - Tricastela. I have it on good authority from an Irish girl that this countryside is just like Ireland.

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