143 km to Santiago

Just covered 21 km today, but we also climbed 800m (not much less than Goat Fell, to put things into perspective) so are quite happy with that. Also happy that the there is no sign, yet, of the rain promised for today and that we are safely booked into the Albergue in Fonfria, a tiny hamlet up in the mountains of Galicia, with spectacular views. 143 km to Santiago!

Our walk today started with a climb up through the pretty hamlets of La Faba and Laguna de Castilla to the head of the Valcarce valley at O’cebreiro. Climbing through patches of low cloud gave ethereal views behind us and from O’cebreira the views into Galicia were equally dramatic. We picked up empanadas for lunch here and one or two bits of Camino tat – no glow in the dark rosaries yet though :-(. We managed to lose the path for a while, which meant a less pleasant stretch along the road, but once back on the path there were lots of different flowers to see, including plenty of orchids (Oh no! says Rosie).

The blisters are still with us, though manageable, but in Rosie’s case the mouth ulcers are the worst source of pain. We contemplated trying to walk another 9 km to Tricastela this afternoon in search of a pharmacy but I’m not sure my feet would have made it – it’s all downhill from here, and steep with it. Luckily, it turns out they have a small medicine cabinet at the Albergue and were happy to give Rosie some Ibuprofen to tide her over till tomorrow. Today’s Albergue is much bigger than yesterday’s but it’s fine, and our positive experience of communal dining yesterday makes us quite happy to give it another go tonight. Just as a matter of interest, we have been on the road for five nights now and beds in the Albergues have cost us a total of 38 Euros each – still less than we paid for the first nght in a hotel in Bilbao!

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