Day 28, la Portela de Valcarce to Hospital, 22k (10k on horseback)
April 28, 2016
This morning we were up early and out before 8am because we had an appointment about 7k down the road. We allowed enough time to stop for a quick breakfast (for those, unlike me, who can eat in the morning). We walked to Herrerias to meet Victor Echevarria at Al Paso stables. That’s right. Our preferred way of climbing O’Cebreio is on horseback! We were the envy of the Camino as we sat and let the horses climb the 3,000 feet into Galicia, our last Province. (35 Euros for the horse, 5 Euro for a taxi to take the backpack up).
The 2 hour climb would have taken me 5 or 6 on foot with a pack. Or more. We first followed an asphalt road, but quickly turned off onto an old Roman road, lined with chestnut trees, giant fern and wild primrose. Victor said the trees were planted by the Romans to help feed the slaves in a nearby gold mine. Victor and one of his helpers walked the entire way and rode the horses down. They do this twice most days!
After lunch at the top, we added another 5k to an albergue in Hospital.
Warning. WTMI (Way Too Much Information) I know I go on a variety of “adventures” but what most people don’t realize is the tole it takes on my body. This is not a walk in the park and though I enjoy backpacking, my body simply doesn’t. It’s showing the signs of rebellion. First was the morning retching. That started over a week ago. Then actual vomiting in the mornings, so that I can’t eat breakfast unless I want to see and taste it a second time. I can’t consume anything for breakfast except coffee and usually only have whole grain crackers before lunch. Next is mild diarrhea. That hit today. While I can take something for it, what I need to do is listen to my body and rest. Odds are, I’ll be able to jump ahead by bus tomorrow and take a day off while the group catches up.