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29. May

May, 29 022

An early start again. weather was sunny and the air was fresh in the morning. The climbing began at the little village of Herrerias. We saw familiar pilgrim faces we once in while know from the Albergues or walked together on the Camino. A 1300 meters hike was in front of us. We climbed a week ago a higher mountain, but this one, to Calicia was the steepest one. Horst had his old strength back and I was in perfect shape today too. We walked slowly, but steady up the mountain. The stunning view, down to the tiny villages and up to the mountain, let us forget the hard work of climbing. On a coffee break in the village of Laguna de Castilla, short before the border of Calicia, many of Pilgrims were there and a lot of smiling faces. From the Restaurant Celtic music turned Horst up and he was dancing on the street and Pilgrims joined in for a street dance.

Happy we finished the last few km into Calicia to O,Cebreiro our final destination for the day. I should mention, that for the climb up to O’Cebreiro in village down the valley a service is offered (for money) to carry the Pilgrims pack sacks up to the top.We know now, how hard it was to carry our heavy pack sacks up and understand this service, there is nothing wrong with that. But what we didn’t like was, that with this service, the people were also booked in the accommodations. Somehow we felt it is not right, when you carry your own heavy pack sack up and had to find out that most of the rooms were already booked. We were pretty lucky and find a place in a casa rural, which is like a B & B.

Late afternoon we were listening to young people playing Celtic music on bagpipe and violin and all the pilgrims were happy.

The 14th Day

28. May

May, 28 005

We started early to cover more ground before lunchtime. It was a walk mostly along a highway, but the other side of Camino was along the Rio Valcarce. But the trail didn’t had much shade and this time,Horst gave up pretty early and we both called it quit after only 14 km in Vega Valcarce. We went early in our sleeping bags because next day we have to climb the big mountain ranges which is doorway to Galicia our final Province to cross to Santiago de Compostella and under 170 km to go

Day 13

27. May

Finally from Ponferrada we are on a walk which is not climbing up anymore, only the last 5 km to Villafranca del Bierzo was up and the heat of the day made us suffer. We saw the girls from Switzerland, Ires and Marina, again. We all have somehow the same walking distance, only most of them are faster then we do.

26. May

.. May, 26 008

This morning was clear and sunny,but cold and windy. We were all aware that we all have to face the highest elevation of our Pilgrimage on the Camino. In front of us was a mountain range of 1505 meters above sea level. We went up and up, my back hurt and Horst said :“Why got I the idea to walk the Camino the second time”, but he is a clown and an OF anyway.

Finally walking on the top, walking on the peak , it felt like walking on the top of the world. We got rewarded to see the whole mountain full of flowering bushes, flowers and wild growing herbs. It looks like arrange by a garden centre, but we all know, who designed this miracle of nature.

We were looking ahead for the Cruz de Ferro because we carried since the beginning of our walk rocks from the garden of our late friend Friedl. I had a white rock and a shiny yellow rock and Horst had a black rock. We both climbed up over all those rocks people placed down with tears, with hopes, or joy. We put our rocks down in memories to an old dear.friend.

.. May, 26 020

.. May, 26 022

From the iron cross ‘we went down to our planned accommodation in Manjarin to stay there overnight.But the Albergue was so primitive and looked so dirty, that we decided to go further to the next town. It meant to us, we had to go up over the next mountain, several km further. Those things happen and we trusted our strength and arrived, more than pooped in Acebo.

Funny enough, a Pilgrim we have been in the same Albergue the night before, carried for Horst,the rain pants he had left behind.and we met our friends Knut and Manfred again. We all agreed, that the climb over those mountains were very hard, but worth it.

Day 11

25. May

After night of heavy raining and thunder storm ,the morning didn’t look bad and we bought our food for the day and started walking.torward the mountains.

.. May, 25 004Lunch Break before the Rain

Big clouds moved in and we got wet, really wet and at El Ganso we went in a nice Albergue as the first Pilgrims of the day. Later, when all those wet Pilgrim came in ,the Albergue looked like a Laundry place, all over the place, on chairs and our bunk beds, hanging Pilgrims cloth. We joined Marina and Ires from Switzerland for self made dinner and Horst had fun to learn new Switzer/German words.

Tenth Day

24. May

To get through the Industrial area of Leon, we took a bus with our Pilgrim friends, Gertrud and Rosita, and walked with them from Hospitalde de Orbigo to Astorga. All four of us suffered from the heat up to the 900m Alto Santo Toribio. On the top we had a long lunch break and went then down torwards Astorga. Horst and me couldn’t go so far as Rosita and Gertrud and both of us took another break. Our friends went ahead of us but an hour later we stayed together in the same Albergue. After a long shower and a rest we went out to explore the wonderful and clean city.. We ran into our friends Knut and Manfred and decided to go out for dinner together. On the way to the Restaurant it started raining and even hale came down and we all got wet.

Second Day in Leon

23.May

22. May 025

We met in town Knut and Manfred, our Pilgrim friends.

After a good rest and taking the medicine Horst condition improved and we had time to explore the city of Leon. What amazed me was the old centuries buildings which looked like churches. We visit also the famous Cathedral of Leon. We strolled through the city, the marked and enjoyed the little street cafes.At night we celebrated Horst’s recovery with a 8 Euro Spaghetti dinner.