Camino de Santiago | Day 26

Trabadelo – Padornelo

17.24 | 405.16 miles

+4,239 | -1,721 feet

It was another spectacular day on the Camino. The day began in the valley after climbing the bonus mountain yesterday. With the dampness and lack of sun, it was cold.

Today, we did the steep climb to Alto O’Cebreiro, which is also a tourist town. It’s very cute with lots of tourist shops. We’re beginning to see more tourists (and pilgrims) on the Camino. There have not been “souvenir shops” along the Way thus far, not even in the big cities. Sometimes a cafe may have a few items or a roadside vendor. I think we’ll see many more from here on out.

After O’Cebreiro, we had another climb to get the Padornelo, where I’m staying. We also crossed into the province of Galicia.

Because it is more to the western side of the mountains, Galicia tends to be rainier since this is the first land mass the weather of the Atlantic reaches. Today was perfect. Hopefully the forecast holds out, which right now is clear and warm. The views continued to be gorgeous as we made our way through the Serro dos Ancarnes.

Just before O’Cebreiro, we saw a helicopter flying back and forth. It looked like it was bringing something up the mountain.

It’s hard to see at first, but the helicopter begins in about the center of the screen.

Once I could see though, it was getting cement from a cement truck parked right next to the Camino and carrying it down into the valley. Whatever they are constructing, it will be expensive.

For the next several days, the question every day is, “What mountain will we be climbing today?” As we have the last two days, we have a large mountain every day. However, they grow smaller until they become a series of mini mountains into Santiago. As I wrote a few days ago, some days are Meseta days, and some days are mountain days. In these stages, every day is a mountain day.

Life doesn’t give us an elevation map. Some mountains we know about ahead of time. We have no choice but to climb them, but at least we can prepare. But other days, we have no idea if it’s going to be a big our biggest mountain or a manageable foothill. We also don’t usually know what the descent will look like. And there is always a descent. Even if the mountain top is the greatest experience, it’s not the place we live. At some point, we will need to carefully negotiate what’s on the other side of the mountain, lest we get hurt.

On the Camino, the view at the top of the mountain never disappoints. Regardless of how tired you are, the view is always worth the climb, as your focus becomes the beauty rather than the struggle. The challenge is to hold on to that beauty during the descent and when you face your next mountain.

Buen Camino

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