Day 26 – Ruitelán to Fillobal, 18.02 miles
Before going to bed last night, Carlos asked what I wanted for breakfast. I told him it didn’t matter to me as long as there was lots of coffee. This morning the table was set with toast, pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, juices, and a never-ending carafe of hot coffee. Good work, Carlos. I sat for an hour enjoying the coffee, it was the first time in Spain being thoroughly caffeinated before taking any steps. This was a good thing because I had a big day planned – up the mountain to O Cebreiro and down the other side, possibly as far as Triacastela.
When I walked to O Cebreiro it was at the end of 37+ kilometer day, plus it was windy, cold, and raining. The walk up the mountain this time around was perfect – not too cold, not too hot, and very few clouds in the sky. And those views going up were amazing. I stopped twice for coffee on the way up, in La Faba and in La Laguna, both towns I hardly noticed as I trudged up last time.
I arrived in O Cebreiro a little before noon, the little town was packed with tourists that had traveled up by car or tour bus. I found a little bar off the beaten path and had lunch. Bacon & Eggs, toast, banana, coffee, and an Aquarius (Spanish equivalent of Gatorade), all this was less than 5 euros! Inflation is hitting different here.
After lunch, I strapped on my pack and headed out of O Cebreiro. There were a few ups and downs beyond the village, but once I passed Alto do Poio, it was significantly downhill. There were a lot of pilgrims on the trail until Fonfría, where most of them stopped. I walked alone for the rest of the afternoon.
My plan was to walk to Triacastela, but I called an audible when passing through the little town of Fillobal. To call it a town might be an exaggeration. There were 5 buildings, 3 that supported some agricultural enterprise, 1 albergue, and 1 bar. The Camino passes right past the front porch of the albergue, there was a lady sitting on the porch that looked like she worked there. When I passed, I asked her if she had beds, and the answer was yes.
It was a good end to the day. I settled in my upper bunk, showered, machine-washed clothes, and then went to the bar for tapas, wine, and blueberry cheesecake. There I watched the sunset over the valley below, then called it a night. A long day coming up tomorrow.