- Not able to add pictures today.
Day 33 & 34-October 15 & 16, 2017
La Faba to Sarria, Spain
After a lousy night’s sleep I get ready for another day on the mountain. The path today has 3 ascents, and a major decent. As I am at 1330m (4,000’) I think it is natural to assume it will be cool this morning. The temperature forecast however is for 82F again, with no clouds. Layering is the way to go.
So I put on 3 tops, a zip on the legs to my pants and I understand immediately something isn’t right. It turns out my logic is fine…..but it is actually quite warm. In fact it is really warm. I get the feeling we are in the mid 50’s when I start to walk. I immediately overheat and try to get all of these layers off. The time is 7:30 and sunrise is for 8:45 am.
Right out of O’Cebreiro the trail goes up to the pinnacle the starts to drop. Over the next hour I will be constantly losing altitude. Before the sun rises I am faced with a dramatic vertical wall. This takes a lot of effort to climb this monster.
Almost immediately I continue on a downhill run….and I peel off an amazing amount of path and altitude yet again.
The day will have me walking through very small communities of 3 and 4 house, some farms, and asphalt on and off. At one point several farmers are bringing their dairy herds back from the pastures for milking. The cows are coming toward us and we generally clear the way, or get up against the wall of a building to let them pass.
Before you can really think about it another dramatic vertical in the path is presented. This time there is no mistaking this for a super serious bit of trail blazing. Quite honestly I am concerned I may just skin my nose on the path it is so steep. Multiple stops to gather yourself are incredibly necessary for me to climb this part of the trail.
Now the trail heads seriously down…..
The views should be spectacular as I descend into the valley below, but there is a thick grey cloud over everything. I can smell it too. There is a forest fire. Fortunately it is not near me but it is fowling the air significantly.
Later in the morning I understand this is a forest fire start by an arsonist, and had been burning since October 5th. The seriousness of this fire is exaggerated by the fact this normally rain filled region, has need experiencing a drought. Galicia is dry!
As I have explained previously….downhill demands much more from your body than going uphill. I have descended to about 650m or 2,000 ft. Ihave dropped half of the height to sea level in roughly 4 hours. My knees, Achilles’ tendons, and feet are throbbing with pain. I thought I had been conditioned by the last 24 days of walking….apparently not enough.
When I finally arrive in Sarria the clouds opened up and the much needed rain to dowse all the fires that has plagued western Spain has arrived. From this point on every step counts. To get the much valuable certificate of completing the camino, I must walk the last 100km and have stamps on my credential to show daily progress.