Day 30. How we spent our 32nd anniversary.

We left O’Cebreiro just before sunrise and slowly found our way along the Camino path. Going was a bit tricky for 30 minutes or so until the sky began to brighten just before sunrise.

Our first rest stop came at the pilgrim monument at Alto San Roque.  The statue did not photograph well since the sun was rising just behind. I took some close ups to give some idea of the detail.

We stopped for breakfast in Hospital de la Condesa at a tiny little bar that was very warm and friendly.  A lot of other pilgrims also liked the place and we were lucky to find a table in the back corner. 

The town also has what the guide books describe as a pre romanesque church built in the 11th century. Unfortunately it was not open so we could not get a glimpse inside.

From here we had a long and very steep ascent to Alto do Poio , the high point for today’s walk. From there it was a long but not too strenuous descent into Triacastela. Again,  like yesterday, the entire route was incredibly beautiful and the pictures as I look at them now at the end of the day don’t give a fair impression of the real beauty of the Gallician countryside. 

And finally arriving in Triacastela of course I had to peek inside the church. I know our friend Edmund wouldn’t rest if we couldn’t tell him what each church looked like! And this one reminded me of some of the mission churches in the American Southwest (at least on the inside).

Our albergue, Complexo Xacobeo, was on the main road and so easy to find. We checked in and then had an early supper and celebrated our anniversary with gin and tonics and a good red wine.

For most people hiking 22km over 6 1/2 hours might not be a particularly romantic way to spend an anniversary. However Ed and I feel so blessed and grateful for the gift of each other and are quite happy to be here amidst such beauty and tranquility, even with the physical pains that the pilgrimage brings forth. The contemplative nature of The Way brought to mind a quote we had read from a daily Facebook post we get of the writings of Thomas Merton which pretty much sums up how we have spent the last 32 years.

“I cannot find myself in myself, but only in another. My true meaning and worth are shown to me not in my estimate of myself, but in the eyes of the one who loves me; and that one must love me as I am, with my faults and limitations, revealing to me the truth that these faults and limitations cannot destroy my worth in their eyes; and that I am therefore valuable as a person, in spite of my shortcomings, in spite of the imperfections of my exterior ‘package’.”  —THOMAS MERTON, “LOVE AND LIVING”