O’Cebreiro to Triacastela, 20.7km
The irrationality of pilgrimage was on full display this morning leaving O’Cebreiro and I was reminded with each gust of cold wind that hit my exposed legs and face. I took the picture above outside of the albergue as we were leaving. Notice the trees leaning because of the wind. There was also a heavy mist coming down. When we left, the temperature was 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the Wind Chill Factor 30 degrees Fahrenheit. And still, all I had on was all that I brought – hiking shorts, t-shirt, and an ineffective rain jacket. It was my own fault, I packed for “normal” June temperatures not realizing that this was a “normal” June day in O’Cebreiro.
It wasn’t so bad as long as we kept moving. And the towns were well-spaced today so there would be plenty of warm and cozy bars open along the way. We made such good time to the first town, Liñares, that all of the warm and cozy bars were NOT open yet.
Not far beyond Liñares, we came across the Monumento do Peregrino. If there ever was a case of art imitating life, this was it. This guy looked as haggard as me, except he had long pants on…
Our travel plan for these conditions was to walk as fast as possible and stop at every open bar we encountered for coffee and warm food. It was a brilliant plan! And we weren’t the only ones with the idea. Every place we stopped at was filled with soggy and cold pilgrims.
Despite the frequent stops, we made it to my destination, Triacastela by 12:30pm. My friend decided to continue on to the next major town. Today’s walk for me was short, 20.7km, and downhill all the way.
I rewarded myself for the previous days’ adventures with a private room at Complexo Xacobeo. I wanted a chance to rest, dry out, and give all my clothes a good washing/drying. The Complexo Xacobeo was self-contained – laundry facility, kitchen, and a restaurant/bar a few doors down. It amazes the value one gets in these places – very nice rooms, great hospitality, and an amazing price. It wasn’t much more than the cost of a bed at an albergue. It was a great place and a well deserved reward.
I took this picture on the walk today. It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words…
Looking back at it from my warm room in Triacastela, I decided to call it Faith.
In the religious circles I have traveled in, faith is mostly intellectual ascent, belief in a certain set of doctrines, or something you do with your life on Sunday mornings. There’s nothing wrong with these but they are not faith.
I am coming to believe that faith is very different than the certainty of intellectual ascent, doctrines, and ritual, and more uncertainty but moving forward into the mystery anyway…