El Cebriero to Samos.
Starting as usual in the dark we begin a 600m plus descent with a few ups and downs and then a steady, steep in places, descent into Triacastera, through countryside that would not be out of place in the Pennines except the views are longer and more distant. There are two views of clouds in valleys, one stretching for tens of miles with hills poking up through it. The descent is hard on the legs but eventually we end up alongside a small river in a valley not unlike Dovedale with multiple small weirs controlling water for irrigation or old disused mills. Eventually, after what seems a longer distance than the guide book or tourist info says, suddenly we emerge from trees and there is the Benedictine monastery of Samos.
On the way we chat with a Dutch couple pulling devices like golf carts with harnesses. They have walked from Holland starting on the 1st of May. We compare journeys but all agree it’s a long way. The carts it seems work well but they try to stay on better tracks or roads where possible.
The Albergue in the monastery opens at 1500 so we dump our packs and head to the bar opposite for lunch. We later find the town consists of a very large monastery (with very few monks), and a lot of bars selling food to pilgrims. There seems little else. However there is a trip around the monastery and we do this. It was probably founded in the 6th century, abandoned in the Moorish invasion and restarted in the 8th century. Variable fortunes over the centuries with multiple fire and rebuilds mean little original survives but the frescoes, from the last rebuild by living artists, of the life and times of St Benedictine are good.
We only have a few days left but the Camino continues to surprise and delight.