The day following the climb in the mountains (and St. James Day), we continued our descent and stopped briefly in Ponferrada. The Knights Templar (who protected the pilgrims in the Middle Ages) had a castle there that is largely intact. Then we continued into a valley that began to change geographically and culturally. The next day we began climbing once again! O’Cebreiro, one of the first towns in Galicia, was pretty much at the peak. The views going up, and over the next day, were awesome once again! Galicia is the northwest region of Spain. The weather begins to change here because the winds off the Atlantic Ocean come eastward and hit this string of mountains, causing cloudier conditions, showers and foggy conditions periodically. This additional rainfall of course changes the landscape and how the land is farmed. Many of the small villages have farmsteads incorporated in them. In fact the pilgrim encounters frequent manure on the trails from livestock being moved from paddock to paddock. The small dairy or cow calf herds can even be found practically next door to the albergue. That brings some flies and smell. This region is very similar in many ways to other Celtic regions, such as Ireland.  
This brought us to Sarria and the beginning of the last leg of our journey to Santiago. 


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