. Camino Cycle 2006 . Cockle shell

Diary - Day 7

Stage 7 – Ponferrada - Sarria – 27/09/2006 - 100 Km

Distance 67.3 miles (108 km). Feet climbed 4,840. Cyling Time 5 hrs 42

Leaving Ponferrada was fraught with difficulty. Paul was missing, presumed to be having a good time. Also navigation lived up to the guidebook predictions, with poor signs and no obvious route. GPS would be advised on any future expedition. The camino path was followed eventually to assist with getting out of town. The route snaked up a long valley and coffee was taken near Villafranca.

Roll it! Turlough checks that he has brought both feet before setting off.


All ready to go - but where's Wally?


There he is!


The moutains beckon, but Turlough is long gone


Frankie goes home - the only possible coffee break today


No, I don't know where Paul is: in fact, who is he?


Carbing up at coffee, where Paul was rediscovered


At break, the leathery ham does for Barney's tooth, Frankie has bitter coffee


Stephen spots a possible location for chickens, keeps quiet about it!

Climbing after coffee, Oonagh, Barney and Stephen


Spot the cyclists, part 2


Suzie searches for chickens for Mayo - no luck yet!


Larry scans the country for Suzie's chickens


Paul arrives at O Cebreiro, several pounds lighter, but not a bit troubled by 6 km of climbing


David floats in on his bike of steel for a short break


Frankie stops to refuel


Leaving O Cebreiro, Suzie reports "nice stamp, but no chickens!"


Superb view from near O Cebreiro


Pilgrim cross at O Cebreiro


Pilgrim statue in amazing setting near the summit of the big climb


Descending after lunch


The view on the way down the hill


Frankie fills his tyres with helium after a puncture - every little helps


Confusion reigns as Jimmy is not around to find the route .

Thereafter the climbing began and got steadily more difficult. Turlough made a lone breakaway and was never seen again, making this the longest break in the camino history. There was a break at O Cebreiro with a lovely church and a very stylish stamp for the passport. Another false summit with 8 km to a short late lunch stop at Alto Do Poio at 4443 feet. Here Paul found that he had a broken spoke and a new wheel was fitted. A series of long descents of great cycling quality allowing fools to exceed 44 mph at times. The run-in was punctuated by a few nasty stings in the tail. A short break was taken at the Benedictine monastery in Samos, which had a most elegant stamp. All arrived in safely in due course and we immediately met our American friends Tom and John from Leon.

The cyclists were unanimous that the this was the hardest day yet, but well worth the effort!


Paul offered me a Kiss to wash his jeans as Suzie has refused!


A few wee twists on the descent


Resting place for the night


Tony Soprano's ducks outside the hotel


The walking pilgrim (Seamus)

Seamus walked 8 km in the morning before the coffee time. Later after he walked from O Cebreiro over the top of the hill doing 12 km in the midday sun (as certain types do go out). All his walking was up steep hills today in brilliant scenery.

Seamus finds a tolerant walking companion


This brings his total to 78 miles with one day to go.

Walking high after lunch


Here I hope to insert Gerry's performance data when it has been suitably massaged







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