There's snow in northern Spain and deep snowdrifts in O'Cebreiro, the gateway to Galicia - according to Johnnie Walker who's just walked through. I remember stopping an hour or two at O'Cebreiro in December 2007 on my own pilgrimage along the Camino Francés. The weather then was frosty and piercingly cold - but a brave sun shone in blue skies, burning off the valley mists by midday. O'Cebreiro (1293 m, 4242 ft) was for me not only a physical but also a spiritual high point of the journey. Although there were more hills to climb as I walked across Galicia, I seemed to coast effortlessly from here all the way to Santiago. I saw this statuette of Saint James in the Church of Santa Maria Real in O'Cebreiro:
In a bar in O'Cebreiro I met by chance an American lady from The Confraternity of Saint James who was interested in my journey. She was doing some research on the route for the Confraternity. When she heard I lived not far from Nottingham, she urged me to go to one of the Confraternity's local pilgrim reunion meetings when I got home. But I never went. I'm sure she said the Nottingham group was run by Alison Raju, who's written various Camino guides. In fact I'll be using Raju's guide to the Vía de la Plata in a couple of weeks' time.