We’re walking the Camino de Santiago in June 2022. Come along with us!

Day 6: The day in which I did something smart

O Cebreiro.

It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway through our walk. And today … we didn’t walk very much. Both of us are dealing with some leg and foot issues, so we made the smart decision to take it easy. A longish taxi ride through the mountains told us this was a really tough stage. And when tons of our fellow pilgrims eventually showed up in taxis as well, we weren’t going to lose any sleep here. Plus, extra time in O Cebreiro turned out to be worth it. What a spectacular town! It’s perched between two valleys, and every building – there are about 10 in total – is made of gray rock. No amount of pictures do this place justice, although I’ll try, dear reader.

We saw a farm of maybe an acre terraced into the side of the mountain. Sone of the restaurants get their produce there. And we were there early enough to see the Albergue with their laundry still alerting on the line. This is also a new region. We started in Castilla Y León and went through the wine region of Bierzo and now, we’re in Galicia. It’s a region of agriculture and mountains, of fierce regional pride and a local rich of pulpo (octopus). I had some tonight with some of our Camino Family; it was so good. We had some local Galician cheese as well. We had drinks with the Janets after lunch, and ran into Chris from New York again. She and I did our laundry together in the monastery in Villafranca, and talked about our hometowns. Predictably, she’s never heard of Modesto and compared me to some sort of missionary, preaching the virtues of Modesto to everybody on the Camino. “If everybody in Modesto is like you,” she said. “Then Modesto’s got something going on!” Hey, I WAS wearing my Modesto Porchfest shirt!

But the highlight of the day came in the early evening. The Camino started as a religious pilgrimage, but we haven’t seen a lot of churching so far. That changed tonight, and wow for the better. The Catholic church holds a Pilgrims’ mass every night, followed by a blessing. For the blessing, the priest called everybody up front into a circle and asked for every language spoken. I think there were eight, and he had people from the circle come up and read the blessing in their native tongue. We heard Polish, Japanese, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch. German and English. I wish I could remember the words of the blessing, but maybe that’s better. It’s something that needs to be experienced vs. relayed. At the end of the blessing, where the priest kept telling us “Ultreia y Suseia” (onward and upward) and, in general words, to be good humans and leave our marks,” he gave each of us a small stone with a painted arrow. I realize this is a daily service, and the cynical side of me would think he’s got this performance down to a science, but in that moment I fell like it was only our little group in this world. You couldn’t help but feel it when you left that sanctuary.

Off to dinner with the Janets and Henry and Yvette from Miami after that.

El Pulpo and caldo gallego? Yes, please! Too much vino tinto? Sure, why not. It’s a somewhat shorter stage tomorrow. And we’re rested. And ready for most anything, including the 70% chance of rain throughout the day. Buen Camino.



2 responses to “Day 6: The day in which I did something smart”

  1. Ann Pendleton Avatar
    Ann Pendleton

    Thoroughly enjoying the blog – I feel like I’m there with you, minus the physical exhaustion, but I almost feel that, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great day! Onward and upward!💕


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: