I think I already said that dinner was going to be great because the cook was singing when he cooked. Carrot soup, salad, and pasta all tasted fantastic. But the best was yet to come. The man sitting next to me was a professional singer, but he was reluctant to sing. Then somebody handed a guitar to Connie, a woman from Washington D,C.. She began to play and we had a fabulous sing-a-long. I have video of a couple of the men and the cook singing. Connie could play anything if somebody just started humming the tune. Another woman and I even began dancing as we sang.
We were all having such a great time. I keep getting overwhelmed with wonder at how there continue to be so many amazing experiences on my Camino.
This is the narrow/steep staircase to our sleeping quarters. It was a bit of a challenge in the middle of the night.
Luis, the owner told us that he would wake us with music at 6:30 and that no one was to get up before that. It was nice to know that there would not be pilgrims waking up at 5:00 to leave early. They woke us up playing Ava Maria. What a treat.
The ride, yes I mean ride, to O’Cebriero: it was not in a car, train or bus. I had heard about the horses to O’Cebriero someplace before I even got here. The 10 km. walk is the steepest (about 500 meters) on the Camino. I knew I was capable of walking it, but I thought it would be a great adventure to ride a horse. I just didn’t know where to find the horses. Then about 5 km. Before Ruitelan I saw the sign that said, “Need to ride a Horse to O’Cebriero?” with a phone number. I didn’t need a ride, but I wanted one. I called and was told that he wouldn’t take 1 person, but would let me know if he got 2 more reservations. I was thrilled to get his call at 6:30 last night. He said to walk to his place in the morning at 9:30.
This morning was another cool (4.5 Celsius) morning. I went out for breakfast and was so excited to find Eva from Spain, Anita & Stefan from Sweden, & Patricia and her brother from Mexico (all people that I have met already within the last 10 days) at the place where the horses were being saddled. The cost was 30 euros plus 5 to taxi my backpack. It was a great decision. My horse, Carlota, was fabulous and easy to ride.
All I had to do was to sit in the saddle and occasionally stop her from eating grass on the side of the trail. Instead of watching my feet on the rocky parts of the steep trail through the mountain, I got to watch the views. Carlota and I were the last and a bit behind the others, so it sometimes felt like riding on my own. I was smiling, laughing, and singing out loud most of the way. Victor, the owner of the horses walked as we rode. Sometimes he held onto the tail of one of the horses so the horse was pulling him.
We stopped a couple of times to let the horses drink water and rest. We really weren’t riding any faster than the walkers were walking, but because we were up high on the horse, we had better views. I saw Loretta and Marlin along the way. I guess it is obvious that I think I made the right decision to ride.
This is Eva.
When we arrived in O’Cebriero, I had a wonderful bowl of kale soup and went to visit the church.
Then I decided to walk on for a bit instead of staying in O’Cebriero. It was already after 1:30 so I decided to only go 5 km (passing the Monumento de Peregrino at Alto San Rogue)
to Hospital de la Condesa. It was a bit disappointing to find out that the municipal albergue was full so I paid 30 euros for a private room. I had an ice cream (actually 2) with three women I had met yesterday at Pequeño Potala in Ruitelán (Maggie from Australia, Martina from Germany, and Alessia from Italy). Even though it was a private room and I had paid 30 euros, I had to do my wash in the cold fountain outside in the back of the building.
As I was washing out a couple of items a few cows were being led down the street – another fun Camino experience.