Fire! Hurricane! Revolution! …. No Pestilence!Las Herrerias to Fonfria 20.1 km

When we woke this morning in the tiny hamlet of Las Herrerias, we could smell smoke and the early morning sky was hazy. At breakfast, the bar tv was showing constant news of the fires in Vigo that had killed 4 people, about 80 miles away. Ok, another Camino day, we do what we do, we headed out on one of the biggest climbs of our walk, about a 2,000′ climb in 8 km. 
As we climbed, we saw one lone pilgrim and then a group of three; that was it, very quiet. Eerie. The sun never rose, instead the sky was a sickly yellow/grey and the smoke completely obscured the mountains. After a two hour climb, we arrived in the rustic pilgrim village of O’Cebreiro. It was a weird scene. Pilgrims were everywhere, getting out of taxis, getting into taxis, talking on the phone, huddling in small groups. We saw several pilgrims we knew; Jesse from Minnesota, Gerhardt from Austria, and Miss Sweden and her German boyfriend, everyone was talking about the fires and wondering what they should do. Apparently, fires were directly below us around Triacastela, 12 miles away, and the winds were blowing our direction, fanned in part by the unusual hurricane passing the Iberian peninsula on its way towards Ireland. John and I ducked into a little bar to partake of the amazing caldo gallego, Galcian soup, and to discuss our emergency response plan. We also had a cerveza, because nothing says crisis like a cold beer at lunch. Continuing to check the internet and watch the news, we decided to push on. This plan came to a screeching halt when we mentioned to our bartender, in his hip outfit, that we were walking to Fonfria; he freaked out and insisted, we think, that it was not safe. To allay our worries, we called ahead to our albuergue in Fonfria to check on the fires…the hosteleria, said it was fine, we think. So, we headed out in the smoke and the gloom, alone on the trail. The trail was really quite nice, exciting, a bit mysterious and mostly empty of pilgrims. We arrived safely in Fonforia and settled into our private double with bath; oh so danger. Tonight at a huge pilgrims’ diner we exchanged tales and plans for tomorrow, we think. 

PS. And yes, there is an almost revolution here in Spain, ever since Catalan is keeping everyone on the edge of their seats as to whether they have declared independence from Spain, the big news in these parts until the fires captured the news. -k

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7 Responses to Fire! Hurricane! Revolution! …. No Pestilence!Las Herrerias to Fonfria 20.1 km

  1. Sybil Saito says:

    Journey on my pilgrims BUT stay safe! Just returned from San Francisco and the smoke across the bay is pretty bad and that fire is in Sonoma/Napa. We are scheduled to go to Sonoma/Napa on the 27th and may have to make a pilgrim decision over a glass of wine. Take care – imua!

    • Laysan says:

      Two trips to the Bay Area, sounds like solid traveling. I hope the fires there weren’t too bad. Last night and today it rained, so that appears to have dampened the fires!

  2. winewoodln says:

    Your post tonight gives me several things to say. First you are clearly true pilgrims. You head into danger twice, first at dawn into the smoke and then again in the afternoon after seeing others flee and being warned not to go. The smoke here has been awful. The streets are strangely empty. I can’t see the mountains and the light of day is weird. We hear there will be rain tonight. I hope so. Your pictures of today’s (sans smoke) were just like mine from October 18, 2014. I ate in that very place but with far fewer pilgrims. The Camino is clearly more crowded this year. On my blog that day John left a comment that seems to now apply to you guys. Here it is:

    • Laysan says:

      I checked your blog and your picture of the mountains were beautiful; and just for the record I also had a chicken picture, I just didn’t include it! Great walk today; at first rainy and misty, then lovely blue. I hope it has cleared in Ponferrada!

  3. winewoodln says:

    OCTOBER 19, 2014 AT 3:32 PM
    Press on, pilgrim. The camino has many restorative properties of its own, and soon your feet may not even touch the ground as you walk. Healed! It is a distinct privilege to be along the way in our virtual sense.

  4. Adds excitement for sure. Not so sure about the air your are breathing. Love you, Sandie

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