Friday, May 22, 2009

Dayton´s Detours

I have to hand it to Dayton, he always takes the road less travelled. The guidebooks have offered several alternative routes or side excursions which piqued Dayton´s interest and off we'd go. It was his decision to take that detour to Bercianos and, as I described in an earlier blog, that was a really special experience. We were among the few who chose to take the high route out of Villafrance del Bierzo to O´Cebreiro and that was unbelievably beautiful. Dayton also chose the six and half kilometre longer route from O´Cebreiro to Samos and this too turned out to be an incredible bonus.

Samos is a small vibrant village that is built around a magnificent monastery. We chose to stay at a private refugio (above a taberna which had great food) rather than at the monastery but we joined Emilio, a Spanish peregrino, and two of his friends on a tour of the monastery. This monastery was once one of the most influential cloisters in the world and had the greatest library which was destroyed in a fire in 1951. It is still an active monastery as there are still 13-15 monks living there and we saw each and every one of them when we went to Vespers that night. They are not a young group. I wasn´t sure they would all survive the evening service.

We ended up having a late dinner at our ´hotel´, sharing a drink with Brittany and Jordan, two young kids from Ottawa, whom we´ve run into a few times.

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