A fantastic two days. First, over a mountain, and then over a mountain range. We left Villafranca and started straight up a very steep road on Tuesday morning. The route leveled out about 1000 feet above the valley floor in the middle of a recently burned area (it has burned since our 2012 visit).
The valley name, Valcarce, is derived from the Latin for narrow valley, valle carcere. The hardest part of the hike was the desent into Trabadelo, reminding us of the narrow valley. We continued to the little town of Ruitelan and the albergue Pequeno Potala. There were 9 of us who shared the evening meal of soup, salad, and pasta - it seems this is the standard pilgrim meal.
Wednesday we crossed the mountain pass into Galicia, the province of northwest Spain. It was the last big climb of our trip, although the up and down will continue through the hills to Santiago. We are in one of the best refuges on the Camino, Albergue A Reboliera in Fonfria (Cold Spring). There are 10 of us in the common area sharing our stories and trying to plan the next few days (there are several more folks taking naps, doing laundry, etc). It is SO nice to have a comfortable sitting area in which to relax in the late afternoon.
Ruth and I agreed the weather was perfect. A little frost on the grass this morning, and just warm enough for our final few kilometers mid-day.
Quote from RA's journal: As Sarria nears, the excitment level in the pilgrims increases.