Friday, May 22, 2009

Breathtaking May 19 Villafranca to OCebreiro

"If life is measured not in the number of breaths you take but in the moments and places that take your breath away", well this was a day filled with those moments. As we were leaving Villafranca del Bierzo this morning the camino signpost offered two options, one listed as VERY DIFFICULT. Well guess which one Dayton chose to follow. We climbed straight up for almost two hours - it was so steep I thought that if I leaned back to look up at the sky my backpack would tip me over backwards tumbling me down the hill and I´d have to start up all over again. As we were struggling uphill I did feel a moment of discouragement as I took a second to look hundreds of metres down and there were the pilgrims who chosen to take the easier lower level road path. I swear they were skipping ! However, our struggles were definitely well rewarded. The steep laborous climb may well have had us breathing deeply for air but the views took our breath away as well. It was spectacular.

We had a rapid descent, then a tedious road walk before we headed back uphill again towards O´Cebreiro. This was tough, probably the toughest climb, but once again the rewarding panoramic views were magnificent. It reminded me of the poem ´High Flight´ :

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I´ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...................
High in the sunlit silence.

We may not have been flying but we were close and we did reach the top of the world.

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