We had our earliest start yet on the camino as our albergue’s room was loaded with snoring peregrinos and they (unfortunately) were the only ones who slept. We probably got 3 hours sleep between the two of us. But, on the positive side of things, we were outside and climbing by 0700 and able to summit before sunrise. It was a very cold and windy day. We layered up and put on our rain gear to add warmth in the mist and cold. At the top we were able to take some great photos of the sunrise.
Just 2 km up the way we came upon the Cruz de Ferro. The little cross on a wood base sits at 4,934′ above sea level and has come to symbolize the camino. Peregrinos leave a stone to reflect on the purpose of their journey. Honestly, it was so cold and windy most of our contemplations included taking a quick photo and headed to a wind break.
There are a lot of stones in this pile.
There was a relatively short section at the top which was flat. It offered nice views of the snowcapped peaks.
Think they get a little snow up here? Our host at the albergue said the snow was two meters high in February.
Hopefully this warning to cyclists is easier to understand in spanish.
All bundled up in a really neat place.
The numbers of peregrinos on the camino has been steadily increasing day to day. Once we get to Sarria we are told it will become much more crowded. Sarria, 100 km from Santiago, is the closest point one can start and receive their compostela. Those peregrinos with less time available start there.
This standard camino road sign made for a neat photo.
We met our Aussie friends from day 1, David and his Dad Philip. They are trekking the camino to raise money for a charity in Australia. The fifth member of our group was Bo from Sweden. We texted Bo today. He is in Leon, 4 days behind us. We are working on a plan to surprise him when he arrives in Santiago.
Sandy negotiates through a herd of sheep. Their sheep herder had five dogs guarding the flock. He wished us a Buen Camino as we walked past.
The steep downhill was complicated with northern Spain’s ever present slate rock. Dangerously sharp and very slippery when wet. Walking on vertical slate causes you to think about every foot placement. On the camino you are just one rolled ankle away from being done so we took it very slowly today.
We are seeing more and more neat flowers as time moves forward.
The colors alongside the trail are amazing.
We crossed this neat medieval bridge into our resting place for the night, the village of Molinaseca. We are staying by ourselves in a nice casa rural B&B. Sleep will come easy tonight for sure!
We hiked 20.7 difficult kilometers (12.5 miles). Tomorrow we are taking a break in the city of Ponferrada. It has a spectacular Knights Templar castle and lots more to see.