Oh my goodness -- another absolutely gorgeous day on the Camino!! A little toasty, but not too bad (and my generous application of sunscreen today prevented me from getting extra crispy). There is joy and laziness that accompany the knowledge that a shorter day of walking lay in front of you; CJ and I possessed both as we slept in until quarter past seven this morning, sat for breakfast at the cafe next to our albergue, and lazily made our way out of town at 8:30am.
Of course there were climbs, but they weren't as steep and the views at the top -- be still my heart. My soul feels at peace as I walk amongst the mountains. As the trail climbed the first time, we found ourselves on a mountainside overlooking a river carving out the space between the peaks -- though we were at least four hundred meters above the river, the crashing and rushing of the water over rapids and logs could be heard amongst the birds' morning songs. To the right, hiding in the fog, were giant windmills only visible when you were within seventy meters. The walk was tranquil, the sounds of nature interrupted only by the crunch of our boots as they marched upon the trail.
We entered a tiny town about five kilometers out and stopped for some water and a bathroom break. About three kilometers further was another cafe that read "last chance for food or drink for the next fifteen kilometers" 😳 Well okay then. We went inside, neither of us very Hungary after our breakfast of tostadas and colacau at the albergue, but the sweet lady running the cafe insisted we take sandwiches with us -- so we did. And we were glad we did!
Up up up a little while further brought us to a long stretch of flat, sunny trail -- it was as if we were on the top of the world. Of course this resulted in some very hot and sweaty pilgrims, so we were extremely excited to see a shady rest area with stone picnic benches adjacent to a little church on a tiny hill in the middle of nowhere Spain. We ate and drank and soaked in the shade before venturing over to check out the church -- and wouldn't you know: it was Capilla da Nosa Señora das Neves, the chapel of Our Lady of the Snows! Not only is the Shrine of our Lady of the Snows (in Belleville) one of my favorite places, it is also where CJ and I were engaged. How beautiful that this tiny chapel be here in the middle of our journey. It was unfortunately not open, but we said a prayer outside and continued on our way.
After a few more kilometers up on the top, it was time to descend to the bottom -- but those views as we made our climb down! There is nothing like seeing the ocean on the horizon, the way the deep blue water meets the light sand before expanding out into deepness, darkness, as far as the eye can see. I couldn't help but stop to take photos every so often as we walked; each bend brought with it a new view! The climb down was pretty steep, but we made it without any tumbles (phew) and were at our destination for the evening: Cee. We checked into our albergue and took a nap; I think all the time in the sun is making me extra exhausted! Then we showered and went down to the beach. We spent a little time sitting on the beach, looking out over the Atlantic, before going back up into town to find some dinner. Ox burgers were on the menu, so ox burgers it was! Accompanied by croquetas, of course, and patatas for CJ.
When dinner was finished we made our way back to our albergue where we played cards for a bit and visited with some girls from Italy -- their plane leaves for home tomorrow out of Santiago, and they want to walk all the way to Finesterre ... so they walked over forty kilometers today so that in the morning they can make it to Finesterre, catch a late morning bus to Santiago, and make their flight home. Phew. I'm glad we are able to take our time a little -- rushing is no fun, especially when there is so much to see!
Here are a few pictures from today:
This is why you. We'd need a guide book -- sometimes the arrows want you to go all the ways! (Not really -- this is where the trail splits to go to Finesterre or Muxia.)
Tomorrow we walk to finisterre -- I'm so excited to reach the offices "end of the world"!