We begin to descend…

Our trek past O’Cebreiro takes us through little hamlets and rural areas.

2014caminoblog-1070391Wash day for this family with a  l-o-n-g clothesline.

2014caminoblog-1070395The chickens don’t seem to mind pilgrims trekking through their turf. As if to say, Whatever…

2014caminoblog-1070403The Iglesia San Esteban in Liñares was built prior to 1120 and restored in 1963.

2014caminoblog-1070407I read about problems with mean dogs along the Camino route, but we have Randy, A.K.A The Dog Whisperer, so we pass by with ease.

2014caminoblog-1070411Beautiful mountain scenery which includes small hay fields.

2014caminoblog-1070412This wood pile has a Celtic design. Solution to roof issues doesn’t seem to be period correct, however.

2014caminoblog-1070413Reminds me of The Bear Went Over the Mountain song we use to sing in kindergarten.  And what do you think he saw?  He saw another mountain…

2014caminoblog-1070416We arrive and take off our boots for the night at Albergue Reboleira in Fonfria which has 86 beds and a nice patio area for relaxing and visiting. Entertaining conversations with German soldiers walking the Camino and a German woman from Minnesota complete a delightful Camino day.

2014caminoblog-1070414Taking advantage of multiple clothes lines and strong sunshine. Watch your step when you take the clothes off the line, or you may find an unpleasant surprise on the bottom of your shoes!

2014caminoblog-1070418Pilgrim meal is served in this old Celtic style building across the road from the albergue.  The village gets its name from its fountain Fons Frigida or cold spring. During the 16th century there used to be a pilgrim hospital in Fonfria that would give heat, salt and water and a bed with two blankets to healthy pilgrims and to the sick a piece of bread, eggs and butter as well. ~ galiciaguide.com

2014caminoblog-1070427The room is quiet at first…

2014caminoblog-1070421 …but the wine begins to flow and soon the air is humming with conversation.

2014caminoblog-1070422Here we meet Al, a personable Spanish gentleman from Madrid that has worked in Iowa and Texas and is walking the Camino before he moves to Lima, Peru.

Salud!

camino-frances-26o-cebreiroIt’s the end of day #7 and we have walked about 25 kilometers, or 15 1/2 miles up the mountain and now we are working our way down. No wonder I’m so tired and ready so crawl into my cozy bunk bed.

 

Galicia and O’Cebreiro

2014Camino-1070328dmvcrWe are now officially in Galicia. This part of the country has an economy based on fishing, farming, agriculture and increasingly tourism.  While the population is Spanish, they see themselves primarily as “Gallegos.”   When the Galicians talk about nationalism, they are generally referring to the “nation of Galicia”  rather than the nation of Spain.  ~ http://www.galiciaguide.com

2014caminoblog-1070340In O Cebreiro, all roads lead to the village church. Founded in the year 836, Santa María la Real (Royal St. Mary’s) is supposedly the oldest church on the entire French Road of the Camino de Santiago. The building is embedded into the ground, with sunken floors that added protection against winter storms.

2014caminoblog-1070342 At a desk, a clerk stamps pilgrims’ credentials and sells votive candles.

2014caminoblog-1070343The building is quite spacious inside.

2014caminoblog-1070347Many are only short-term pilgrims and are dropped off by large tour buses that wait while they explore the village and pay their respects with a candle purchase.

2014caminoblog-1070350 Villagers lived in stone huts called pallozas until as recently as the 1960’s.  Upon entering a palloza, which typically housed a dozen people (and their animals), you’ll find two simple rooms: the only “private” room in the house, belonging to the parents, and a living area around a fire. Surrounding the fire are clever benches (which were also used as very hard beds) with pull-down counters so they could double as a table at mealtime. Cooking was done over the fire using a chain hanging from a big beam, while giant black-metal spirals suspended from the ceiling were used to smoke chorizo.

2014caminoblog-1070352Attached to the living area is a miniature “barn,” where animals lived on the lower level, and people — kept warm by all that livestock body heat — slept on the upper level. Thanks to the ideal insulation provided by the thatch, and the warmth from the fire and animals, it was toasty even through the difficult winter.  ~ Thank you, Rick Steves, for the fun facts to know and tell.

2014caminoblog-1070356It was a little on the cool side and this cat has found a nice sunny spot to guard the beer crate in back of an old cafe.

2014caminoblog-1070360Shopping is available at the horreo (granary).

2014caminoblog-1070361… and here it is, but store is closed.

2014caminoblog-1070358Have no fear!  Gypsies decide to set up shop right by a cafe sign so I guess I can shop, after all!

2014caminoblog-1070362  I’m taking photos of the cute dog, right?  Oh, and there just happens to be Gyspies in the background.

2014caminoblog-1070367Group shot just outside O’Cebreiro as we begin our descent to the other side of the mountain. We’ve enjoyed our little noon break in this quaint village with so much Celtic influence and history.

Now it’s back to hiking with Fonfria as our destination.  We enjoy conversations with other Pilgrims, but I can’t say the trail is over-crowded.