This stage was a pleasure. Only 21 km. to Triacastela, mostly descending, beautiful scenery, the weather was warm and sunny, who could ask for more? Anyway, people having knee and ankle problems would perhaps tell a different story, as descent, especially one spreading over several kilometers is a huge strain precisely on these parts of the body.
We almost ran out from the municipal albergue. At about 6.30 o’clock everyone was up and it was resembling an enormous bee-hive with everyone trying to get ready and put their stuff in order in the dark. I really appreciate the fact that many people (I followed the example) actually arranged their backpack outside the bedroom and spared the others all the rustling, whispering and flashlights in all directions. Outside the air was amazingly fresh (I forgot to mention O Cebreiro is located at an altitude of 1300 m) and we started descending through the dark mountain.
Walking so early in the morning, usually starting at dark, gave me great peace of mind. The nature still sleeping, the stars and moon still not willing to give way to the light, a few people scattered along the road, and you can see only a small spot ahead where the torch sheds light. Then the sky starts to flush its cheeks in gentle pink with the excitement of the brand new day coming. My mind still half-asleep and all troubles seem to vanish and exist somewhere far far away. What a pity this feeling is almost impossible to be recreated in our busy lives.
An interesting event happened in one of the villages we passed through. A young calf escaped from its byre (most villages we passed through consisted of several houses and byres only – I would now recognize the smell among hundred other smells) went on the road and started running ahead of us. So far so good. However, a few seconds later, the calf rapidly turned and started to frantically run right towards us, watching us and gaining speed. We froze and at the same moment on a balcony above our heads a woman screamed (the owner as it turned out) and ran down on the street, just on time to place herself in front of the excited animal and direct it away from us. Alas the moment is not documented as obviously other thoughts had occupied our minds, making photos not one of them
Triacastela came our way quite unexpectedly as I was prepared for more walking, especially after Day 3 and Day 4. To make things even better, we stayed in a lovely albergue – A horta de Abel, which felt incredibly clean, comfy and not crowded, compared to what we saw in Villafranca.
The restaurants at Triacastela were 2 or 3 at most, on the main street. We, together with basically all people we have been walking with so far along the stages chose the same one – Complejo Xacobeo (it is the biggest and used to have a large menu board wight on the street). It had an inner yard and tables on the street. The atmosphere was very cheerful and noisy (in a good way!) and this, combined with the delicious Pilgrim’s menus, red wine, and small talk with a German couple we’d been bumping into since day 1 contributed to a fantastic afternoon followed by restful sleep.