Stage 10, Trabadelo – S Memede del Camino
The dreaded O Cebreiro summit awaits us. For those who have not made the climb to Saint Jean Pied de Port, this is the highest peak of the journey.
All guides and even the signs in the route recommend cyclists to go up by road, but I think that as in the climb to Sant Jean Pied de Port, although you have to put your best effort, it can also be climbed through the original path. I went up the climb by road and I took it calmly from the first ramp, I did not have to dismount in the entire climb, and it was not specially painfull. It should be borne in mind that at this point of the journey, our legs are already accustomed to pedaling.
From Trabadelo, we continue through an area of asphalt next to the main road and go through the towns of La Portela and Ambasmestas.
After this stretch, just at the junction with the road leading to Vega de Valcarce, which is the one to be taken, we keep going through the same asphalt passing Vega de Valcarce and Ruitelán, where we will pass under a spectacular highway bridge and a couple of miles away, always near the river, we will get to the town of Las Herrerías.
The ascent to legendary O Cebreiro starts after Las Herrerías, at first it seems that the slope is not much and if we pedal at a steady pace we will not have a hard time reaching the intersection of La Faba, but the hard ramps start there .., only 8 kilometers of climb, and luckily the pilgrim’s legs are already very hardened at this point, because the rise is of extraordinary hardness. From here the trees become scarce and we head into the mountains.
We arrive at La Laguna de Castilla (last village in the province of León) and when we think we have reached the top, there is a stretch of steep ramps left, similar to the one we have left behind from La Faba. Finally we get to the summit of O Cebreiro, where we see a beautiful monument with the European map of our Camino de Santiago. From there, entranced by the effort, we are given the award to contemplate Galicia, its landscapes, its pallozas and in the hermitage of O Cebreiro, we can refresh ourselves and see the famous replica of the calyx which is exhibited there.
Galicia receives us, we can touch the clouds and we can see its green landscapes, we can cycle through the corredoiras and we can smell the scent that permeates all the routes, the smell of cow droppings…
The landscape change is extreme. From here we will pass through countless small towns and small villages in a constant up and down which will lead us to Santiago.
We cycle through mountain roads to make a short climb up a hill and arrive at the mountain summit of San Roque (1,270 m.), where a large statue of the pilgrim will test our cameras.
From here we head the wheels of our bikes to the mountain pass of Poio, and once over this last climb we continue in constant descent along a path in some very rocky sections and where you have to be cautious, passing through villages and hamlets. In the middle of the descent we will find the chestnut tree of the thousand years .. if we are lucky a villager who sells canes and shells, will remember us and tell us how to take a picture.
Once arriving at Triacastela, one more time we have to choose between two alternatives on the route, the variant passing through Samos or the one passing through San Xil.
The Samos one must surely be our choice. Followers of San Xil have crossed out the signs indicating the detour to Samos (you can read “NO”) but we have to ignore this indication to enjoy the landscapes along the river and a visit to a beautiful monastery where adorn our credentials with one of the largest seals of the entire Camino. Samos also has a hostel and an interesting guided tour.
After about 9 km, through a deep valley, initially by road and finally by a path we find the impressive view of the monastery of Samos. Before that we have passed through the villages of San Cristobal, Lusio, Renche and San Martin Real.
We leave Samos down the road and return to alternate paths through forests, corredoiras and paths running parallel to the road, we pass through several villages: Foxos, Teiguín, Santalla de Pascais, Gorolfe, Veiga de Reiriz, Silvil and Perros, where our variant and the one coming from San Xil converge.
Only 4 km from Sarria we can find San Memede do Camiño where in April 2006 a new hostel has opened. After a long journey, the magnificent and cozy facilities of the hostel Paloma y Leña will comfort you and will reward you handsomely. The attention of the owner and its exquisite environment, with classical music and library, will let you rest placidly.