Pilgrims’ Blessing

Last evening in A Fonsagrada (which means “sacred fountain”), we went to the evening mass in the local church. The place was packed with standing room only. Turns out there were two funerals today and a lot of people were in town. After mass a handfull of pilgrims remained to get the pilgrims’ blessing … just a short heartfelt prayer for a safe and meaningful journey.

Turns out we needed some help from above. We woke up to heavy rain falling and donned all the rain gear we had. As we headed down the hill that Fonsagrada sits upon, the wind was blowing the rain sideways into our faces. The rain continued all morning as we climbed upward over another mountain pass. The real blessing was that the trails had been entirely upgraded in the last few months. This stretch had been notorious for its mud and treacherous descents and referred to as the “break leg section” of the Camino Primitivo. Compared to Asturias, where the trails appear to have remained unchanged since the time of King Alphonso II, the Galician sections of the Camino have had recent upgrades. Our walk today, despite the rain and usual ups and downs of the moutainous terrain, was made so much easier because of decent trails … a real blessing to pilgrims.

We managed to dodge the rain showers all afternoon and reached O Cadavo by 4:00, a 7 hour walk, Tomorrow we walk to Lugo where we will spend an extra day exploring the Roman and medieval ruins.

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