The little train that couldn’t

o30I couldn’t sleep last night. I didn’t sleep well the night before either. I think I’ve had O Cebreiro on my mind. I have been getting more and more worried about climbing this hill and things came to a head in the early hours of this morning… Hence the lack of sleep.

Who am I kidding… I’m fat and fifty (one) and forgetful and feckless and I feel like a fraud… I should not be doing this.

I felt pretty much the same when I woke and as we started walking this morning the feelings of self doubt just hung around me like a dark cloud.

So we walked and walked and took photos and walked… All the time uphill. We came off the road and onto a track and still we were going up and still I thought I can’t do this.

It wasn’t raining but there was a heavy mist and it was cold and damp. We were walking through the clouds and still we carried on walking up.

We stopped for a coffee about half way up. Teresa and Pam look so at ease and I feel like I’m melting. We leave the bar and again we walk up. And again I’m left wondering what on earth I have got myself into. We just kept on walking up and up into the clouds and it’s wet and sticky and cold and so very steep.

After a few hours it feels like the sun is trying to break through and Teresa shouts out “I wonder what it looks like out there?” We can only see maybe 10 metres ahead so if it’s a good view we were missing it.

On and on and up and up we walked, kilometre after kilometre up hill! In fact we walked out of Leon and into Galicia and for three hours or more we just kept walking up.

We reached a point where we seem to come out above the cloud and we saw blue sky but the track had also turned to mud. Teresa and Pam were waiting for me at the top of mud.

“Thanks for waiting” says I “That’s OK” said they “Safety in numbers as there are three big dogs on the path”

And they weren’t joking! Teresa picked up a big stone and we walked with purpose past the three of them. “Thank you so much for waiting for me” says me! Pam replies “that’s OK we were using you as bait as the dogs would smell your fear!”

Gotta love these two girls!

So on we walked, up and up and all the while I berated myself and my situation… But do you know what? After all that self doubt I did it, I walked up the mountain!

And after lunch we walked up even more before finally stopping for the day at a little albergue in Fonfria.

We just about managed to shower before a fabulous communal dinner and now the three of us are in our sleeping bags, ready to sleep off our walk.

There’s a few more hills to go tomorrow and a huge descent but I can sleep tonight… I did it!

6 thoughts on “The little train that couldn’t

  1. Well done you you really are knocking those self doubts on the head and leaving them snivelling on the path behind you. Onwards snd upwards (or downwards) – you are going to do it. PS – don't suppose you would consider walking back – I'm enjoying reading your blogs so much I don't want them to end….. xxx Jan


  2. Bravo, Colleen, for getting to the top. Your muscles are really working – wow. Your writing was good too – describing how you were going up and up and up. I'm so pleased that you have such kind walking companions.
    Cathy xxx


  3. That's great news. O Cebreiro is tough and everyone fears the steep climb and the double peak. That's why they say when you've done it you have nothing to fear – not the dogs nor the rain nor the undulations nor the trolls under the bridges – “Who so beset her round, With dismal stories, Do but themselves confound, Her strength the more is, No lion can her fright, She'll with a giant fight, But she will have a right, To be a pilgrim.” – thought the lion was a good reference for you from our Methodist friend John Bunyan.
    Keeeeep walking – you must have enough inner strength now to stop worrying about finishing and sing “One step at a time, Sweet ….. ” The rhythm will carry you through!


  4. Oh Colleen why after all this time do you dought your self!!! Just look behind you to see what you have achieved
    And what a view wasn't it worth it?!
    Another day tomorrow just take it steady one step at a time your nearly there
    My big brave 51 year old sister……
    Keep going you've come to far now you will make it.
    Love the photos and you. Xxx


  5. Bravo Colleen, just plod on with the others (or behind them) you'll get there. Sleep well, tomorrow is another day. Gill

    P.S. I love following your progress, heaps better and more exciting than The Archers! LOL


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