May 5 – Ambasmestas to O’ Cebreiro and Samos Casa de Diaz

I had been looking forward to the climb to O’ Cebreiro and had also been afraid
of it. Many accounts of the ascent describe its difficulty. And it was very
hard, but it was also glorious!

We climbed for about 4.5 hours, from Ambasmestas, which is at about1200 feet
high, to O’ Cebreiro, at 3900 feet. The day was cool and clear, so the ground
was dry in most places, which made it easier to climb. My lungs are still at
sea level mode, but my legs are stronger, even with my recent injury.
Something strange happened to me yesterday and today; aches and pains stopped
hurting after a while of walking. When there is no option to call the rescue
vehicle, like today on the mountain, the only choice left is to keep going.

There were birds, insects and streams accompanying me on the ascent, along with
the occasional cow bell and the faraway barking of dogs. The mountains were
covered in purple heather and green grass. White and yellow sprays of wild
spring flowers spread their aroma into the pure, clean air. Each time I looked
up and saw the unending path continuing to rise, I would turn around to see how
very far I’ d come already. The views were spectacular. There is a most
special feeling to know that your feet have carried you such a long distance.
Just like in life: how far you’ve come is how far you’ve carried yourself.

We had a great communal lunch at O’ Cebreiro. Everyone was happy and feeling
good about having accomplished the climb. There was much laughter, and animated
conversations sprung everywhere like the spring flowers on the path. The food
and the wine kept coming, brought out by the friendly relatives of the priest
who brought back the culture of the Camino fifty years ago.

There is a small, simple church at the summit, called Santa Maria la Real. God lives there.

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