Finally it looks like el Camino de Santiago is taking you right into Galicia. This stage is one of an amazing natural beauty. The climb to O Cebreiro, which is the first village in Galicia along the Way of St. James, from Las Herrerias is a tough one, quite steep but as I said with plenty of natural beauty and breathtaking views. It really depends also on your physical estate; if you have started the Way of St. James in the Pyrenees you most likely won’t have any problem in doing this climb. But if you have just started let’s say in Ponferrada or even Leon you might find this 10km-ascend tremendously difficult.
Before O Cebreiro you will still come up some more albergue in Hospital and in La Faba in case you need to stop for a rest. After that, el Camino de Santiago continues along the rounded summits of the old and eroded Galician mountains. Everything is so green and bucolic. One can already spot the aspects of traditional rural life in Galicia when passing through the tiny and poor hamlets and stone farmer cottages. A typical and picturesque image for the rest of Camino along Galicia will be the sight of small old women taking the cows to the fields or bringing them back to the cowsheds.
I still remember clearly the first time that I arrived to O Cebreiro which was also my first time in Galicia. It was really inspiring. I could hear sound of the traditional bagpipes in the distance before entering the village and everything smelled to Celtic, to tradition, to green.
In O Cebreriro, a small stone village, there is a pilgrim’s hostel and some bars and small shops enough to spend a night and enjoy a wonderful Galician sunset. I had done it once before, however this time I preferred to continue to Triacastela which is around 20 km downhill.
All the way to Triacastela the Camino de Santiago doesn’t pass through any village but small hamlets appear here and there constantly. In high season it’s therefore possible to buy some food supplies along the way, but better have a bit of stock for winter. Fountains are also common.
This downhill stretch is also really charming and beautiful from a natural point of view and relatively easy to walk. However, if you were destroyed by the climb, the descend could be really hard for your joints especially with a heavy backpack, bear it in mind.
Finally, Triacastela has a couple of albergues and several shops and restaurants and bars. By now you could already start drinking the Galician wines: Albarino and Ribeiro.