Not a Sunday stroll

Today’s challenge was to get up the hill to Villafranca del Bierzo and cut tomorrow’s climb down to a manageable challenge. The climb to O’Cebreiro may not be the highest point of the Camino but it is the toughest (a 700 meter rise in 15km) so breaking it up is the strategy. Had my latest start on the trip this morning hitting the road about 10 til 7. Always interesting walking in the dark and I enjoy walking past the people just starting out from the next town around 8:30. There was a full steady climb of 4km coming of Cacabelos. One of those climbs I hated most as a runner. The kind that winds up the hill and each time you get to a curve and think it is over there is more hill to climb. At the top you look for someone to give a high 5 but must keep it to yourself. 

Villafranca del Bierzo is a gorgeous mountain town filled with tourists as this was a Sunday AM. Some of the tourists were taking pictures of the crazy pilgrims walking through town. They in their winter jackets at 48 degrees and me sweating bullets for the climb I just described. Many important historical buildings there including the Iglesia Colegiata formerly the church of our Cluniac lady (Nuestra Señora de Cluniaco) as the Cluny monks from France were early patrons of the Camino.  

 Tomorrow is Monday and I have 18-20km to the top. Once there I will be in Galicia and only 96 miles from Santiago. Stay tuned. 


2 thoughts on “Not a Sunday stroll

  1. Kristen says:

    In honor of your big climb I challenged myself at my gym this morning – Orange Theory. This new gym is kicking my ass in a good way – but the part I thought you’d get a giggle from is that we all wear heart monitors & can see our performance on a monitor the whole class. The theory is to stay in what they call the Orange zone for the majority of the class. At the end you get an email showing your performance in total. And they award you “splat points” based on it. Don’t know what it is but you want as many as possible. Splat points. Pretty much sums up how I feel at the end. And since you’ve seen it, you can imagine the head sweat & the redness of my face. Classic.

    My point? You’ve earned MANY splat points today Michael!!! Good for you!!!


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