Fonfria is our next destination and we set off wishing we could stay a little longer in Herrerias. The sun is just beginning to shine again but the morning is still fresh and crisp.
There are lots of hand-made works of art dotted along our path that we stop and photograph. We can’t resist trying to capture the moment. Such rural beauty with the cows and their bells clinking as they feed on the grass in the early morning sun. It’s a perfect time for reflection and thank God for all my blessings. There is such a feeling of love all around me and it makes me feel truly grateful to be alive and able to make this journey.
Now the big climb begins from Herrerias at 600m to O Cebreiro at 1300m and then a slight descent to Fonfria at 1283m.
The camaraderie amongst pilgrims is tremendous as we climb higher and higher and the heat of the sun becomes more intense. But no-one’s complaining. Even a cyclist who is straining to ride his bike up the hills and divots, manages to multi-task and take a photo on his mobile of the incredible panorama.
As the day gets hotter and the walking continues, my rash on my legs feels itchy. I hate it. This is my cross to bear, I decide, since I have always been troubled by circulatory problems. Oh, how I wish the Sun would disappear, I think, as we reach another main road to cross to see a large, imposing statue of a pilgrim. OK, yeh, right, really nice….
We eventually reach our next albergue. In fact, as we stumble towards the entrance, we get a round of applause from the other pilgrims who probably arrived a few hours before us! This is the place we have been looking forward to. There will be a proper pilgrims’ meal where we can eat and share our stories at the table and generally relax in good company without a care in the world.
And it certainly doesn’t fail to deliver! We have the best Galician soup ever and as much food and wine as we want. We laugh and chat to our dinner guests, who just happen to be French and Chinese, topped off with an ‘Eau de Vie’. A clear colourless fruit brandy. Life can’t get much better than this I think, as we all hobble off to bed.