Days Twenty to Twenty-six


   Now I was getting into the mountains of Galicia Province.  I had already overcome, or leared to ignore, all the weaknesses that had given me problems before.  While Castilla y Leon had really nice albergues, both private and government run, Galicia did not.  There were few private albergues except for large towns of which there were few.  The government run albergues were just little buildings in the middle of nowhere.  Even the kitchens inside didn't work or didn't have any cooking pots.  There were few beds, sometimes only 18 or 20 in a building.  I often go there early, but many people had to sleep on the floor.  It also began raining again, though not as frequently as before.  It was much cooler up in the mountains, sometimes cold.  When I reached the top of O Cebrero Mountain there was a dense fog and I could barely see my hand in front of me.  I was hit by a blast of freezing wind that cut through my jacket.  This was in August.  After getting out of the hills it was an easy last 50 or so kilometers to Santiago.
  
  Real close now, just a few steps to Galicia Province.
  The monastary of Villafranca del Bierzo.
  Vina!?!?  That's where I went to school!  I have no idea why this place which I think was a resturaunt would have this in the name.  Maybe it is a variant of the the Spanish word for wine, vino.
  Close to the village of Hospital.  It had been raining for days.  I stopped here to rest before making the climb up the hill to O Cebrero, Galicia Province.  After this it was all hills almost until we reached Santiago.
  Last time I went all the way to O Cebrero, but I had an awful time.  It was a pretty but tacky tourist village.  Everyone stops, or starts, there.  I got smart and stopped in the tiny village of La Faba.  I didn't feel so smart while I sat shivering waiting for the albergue to open.  I could have gone on, but it was a steep climb to O Cebrero and there weren't any other albergues close by.  I took shelter in this nearby church for an hour or so.  This is the altar and altar piece.
  I was a little to comfortable in the town of Tricastella.  That morning I shut my alarm off at 5 am and woke up again at 6:30 am.  Because of this delay I was 20th in line for an albergue with 18 sleeping places.  For the first and only time on this trip I slept on the floor.
  The only places to eat were a little food stand and this pension.  Though it was a bit expensive I thougth I deserved a treat after a frugal few days.  I met a bunch of other young people there and joined them for dinner.  The owner of the pension kept bringing bottle after bottle of wine.  Much too late, around 11pm maybe, we went back to the albergue.  Because of the hard, cold floor and the snoring bear next to me I got almost no sleep.  I got up very early the next morning so I would never have to sleep on the floor again. And I didn't.
  Only 100 km left.
   This is famous symbol of Galicia.  It is for storing corn to be dried in the sun.  I have some better pictures on my first pilgrimage page, but I like this one because it goes over the road.
  There wasn't much to see so I didn't take any more pictures until I got here.  This was the last day, just 11 km out of Santiago.


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