Saturday, February 20, 2016

5th Leg of my Camino Providence of Leon: Villages of Carrion to village of Laguna de Castilla

Sept 27, 2015  -- Carrion to Ledigos    14.5 miles / 23.3 Km

 We were up before dawn, found a bar that was open for our Coffee con Leche and Carbs
          and these statues.
                                      Mary, Joseph, Jesus with a Pilgrim

                Morning Selfie
                         Beautiful Sunrise

                  Note the smile faces on the sunflowers............

The piles of dirt
are a mystery to me  ......


                   Roman Walls

 8: 30 AM

The sun continues to
adorn us on our way 

Shade trees bring
respite from the
bright sunshine

  We found a picnic table to 
        give us a resting place

 Followed by an open sunny road - High 75,  with nice breeze most of the day.

            Entering Caldadilla de la cueza  and the rio cueza

        Followed by more fields and open roads -- we stopped several times to massage our feet                                                               and  / or change our socks.

                 Almost to Ledigos

    We arrived with tired feet -- elevation of legs to prevent swelling in one's ankles...
We found a nice Albergue at El Palomar for 9 Euros each, 
with bathroom down the hall

then we walked around the village...

            Walked to the top of the hill in the village to check out the church
                       --- view over looking the village ----



We had dinner with Jay and Tony
-- one of the best Pilgrim meals so far
    Scallops with vegetables (served in a scallop shell), 
Salmon,  Melon, bread
& wine ---

                  One of the dogs at the Albergue -- all the dogs we saw along the way
were friendly - those that were not tied up, there was no issues. There were a few
                                      that were tied up and only a few of them barked at us.

 Sept 28th, 2015 -  Ledigos to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos
                                      18.7 miles / 30 Km

              We took off at 7:30 after our Coffee con Leche , with our headlamp.
               We could still see the moon.....
                then a glorious sunrise
              Long shadows..............
           We stopped at one of the small villages along the way for coffee & carbs
              Then we were back on our way
                       Near village of Sahagun and rio valderaduey
        12th century chapel
    We continued walking through Sahagun. It was 1 PM, yet we were not ready to stop for the day
               Our destination was 10 miles away.... There was 1 Albergue only 5 miles ahead of us;
yet we were determined to make it to pre-planned village of Calzadilla

 The path
turned to 


We did not see any other pilgrims, and to us the guide book was a bite confusing

       The path continued on .....  and we had great energy, we followed the guide book, with the instructions to take the road over the roadway -- looking for yellow arrows, and not finding any - so....... we took the path that went over the motorway --- our path was now to the north of the roadway, and if we would have been more aware, we would have realized that we needed to be on the south of the roadway...  After 1 hour of walking and finally realizing this, I wanted to continue on; knowing that we had many miles to go with only one Albergue between us and our final destination. (With such few options for a bed, it is feasible that there will be no room at the Albergue 5 miles from Sahagun).  So we continued on the "unmarked" path which was parallel the roadway, and we knew we were going in the right direction.   Then the path started going away from the roadway, so we followed a tractor path, climbed down and up a ditch and ended up in a farmer's field that had been plowed. The walking through the field was not easy, due to the lumps of dirt. When we could go no farther in the field, due to a row of trees, we headed for the roadway only to find out that there was a fence between us and the roadway -- if you look close you can see the wire fence; which was about 6 feet tall.  We carefully climbed over the fence, down the ditch and up onto the roadway.

Nancy had never climbed a fence before - for me, I'm a farm gal, so no big deal
(except that we were trespassing..... )
you could see the town of Calzada de Coto in the distance
and believed 

we were
heading in the
correct direction.

We were happy to be over the fence and on the roadway

  It is now almost 2:30 PM and when we arrived in Calzada de Coto and found the yellow arrows we were elated; and had a great amount of energy to continue another 5 miles.  Nancy was 'afraid' that I would want to stay in Calzada de Coto -- We did not talk about this. I knew that she was thinking that I would want to stop in Calzada de Coto AND  I  was determined to make our destination.  Plus I paid no attention to how far we had come, nor how far we still needed to go.     We munched on apples as we walked through Calzada de Coto and found that
our way was well marked along this dirt path.

                          Bridge over the railroad tracks

                     We were thrilled to see the trees ahead - perhaps shade will greet us up ahead...

               More trees off in the horizon..

            We came to a resting place  - picnic area, we have no idea how far we have come or how much farther our destination lies ahead of us...
This cool  place with picnic tables  gave us hope that we were close to the village.
                        I have been  listening to music to help the time pass faster...

                                                                         cute Pilgrim sign..

 More long empty roads..........................  then we see buildings...  :)

 Arrived in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos  at Via Trajana Albergue at 5 PM
---  READY for a beer  !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 The Pilgrim meal was fabulous - and we slept like babies.

Sept 29, 2015  --  Calzadilla de los Hermanillos  to 
Mansilla de las Mulas  15.2 miles / 24.5 Km

 Now, you might be wondering why we would be pushing ourselves 2 days in a row -- We wanted to arrive in Leon on Sept 30; as our dear girlfriend, Chris and 2 of her girlfriends were on a driving vacation and were to be in Leon on the 30th; plus we knew we would have 2 days of rest once we arrived in Leon. AND there is only one other Albergue between these 2 cities.  So stubbornness and determination pushes us forward. We feel well rested and Nancy is managing her blister well. I have 3 small blisters that I have been treating; and they are not causing me any grief or pain. 
 An awesome sunrise greets us in the morning.


We are greeted by Farmers

                                                                                               Long morning shadows

Resting and enjoying the day....
 Passed by a canal for irrigation for farmers

                We saw several caterpillars and one mouse (the mouse would not hold still for a photo)
 Nothing to do except keep walking

   1230: time to rest and have lunch  -- bread and cheese
and change socks

       More trees along the path

                 Then more open areas and dirt path
                   Pilgrims taking a rest break

 time for more attention to the feet

Village of Reliegos
Church cemetery - they all have fences around them and are next to a church
Most of the cemeteries had very old tomb stones, and ones with people
who had died after the year 2000

We met this Pilgrim  in Reliegos

 Cute Bar and lovely village
Playing Country western Music - Johnny Cash

Lovely fall colors 

No hills today - lovely flat path

 Entering Mansilla de las Mulas
 Enjoying empanada (tuna turnover) and wine

Sept 30, 2015 Mansilla delas Mulas to Leon 11.6 miles / 18.6 Km

Love the beautiful sunrise this morning.
 walked a steady pace, flat path. 3 small villages along the way
 Cute car with advertising
 Lovely tree
                         Time for coffee con leche

 Walkway over roadway
 Coming into Leon
 Rest break -- before we enter the city and attend to feet
                               City of Leon Spain

 After a little searching we found the Hostel where we had reservations.  San Martin Hostel

A lovely Hostel, the owner was very gracious - she did our laundry for us. 

 We met other pilgrims in the courtyard

                       Courtyard from our room in the Hostel

                We met our friends at 5 PM -- Used WhatsApp to connect with them
Nancy, Pat, Chris, Bette, Karen

 Oct 1st & 2nd  -- play time in Leon

             Leon Cathedral and plaza

                      Inside the Cathedral

                      Bus ride around the city

                     Sites of the city


 Our favorite bartender 

             Some of our wonderful food entries...
Chicken and rice
                  Salad with Spanish olives, tomatoes, egg, tuna and white asparagus

                       Ham and bread

Lentil soup                                                                 and cheese cake                                            

                                Pork chop and french fries

               Yum Yum

       Nancy using her translator app on her phone to ask for directions...



We ran into many Pilgrims that we knew: Bonnie and Sandra
(we were so excited to see them again),
Paddy, Ethna, Toni, Dave & Patti, Jay and Tony and Charlie ( we thought Charlie would have been days ahead of us; but he was held up with
sore feet)
 We all had a fabulous time -- Chris, Karen and Pat leave in the morning for Sarria and       
they will  walk the last 100 Km of the Camino to Santiago.

 Oct 2, 2015 -- Bette and Nancy in Leon

 Nancy is a RN educator at Bellevue College near Seattle and that college has a contract with Leon University to send Nursing students to Bellevue College for one year. Nancy had a morning appointment with Daniel, the Director of International Studies. We took the 8 AM bus to the university.

Daniel and Nancy at the University

Plaza by the Parador de León Hotel
 This five star Parador was originally a monastery founded in the twelfth century to provide lodgingfor the pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

It later became the headquarters of the Order of Saint James whose soldiers provided protection for the pilgrims. 
The original building was demolished in the sixteenth century and the construction of the present building, on the original site, commenced in 1515.
  Magnificent cloisters were added and improved between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries which look over the gardens.

            One of the paintings in the hotel

 Pilgrim meal with Patti and Dave -- so wonderful to see them again !!!!!
                        time for giggles
                  Pharmacist in the local pharmacy  Time to buy more Ibuprofen
                  We usually saw police in the city; but there were on 2 occasions that they were on the   Camino Path - The cities / villages are proud of the safety they provide to the Pilgrims.

                 Local Musicians

              Shopping  -- I had lost my rain poncho that went over my back pack and Nancy
                     found a top she needed. We wanted to be prepared for the colder days that lie
                             ahead of us when we hike up some mountains.


Oct 3, 2015   -- Leon to Villar de Mazarife  14 miles / 22.5 Km

     We left at sunrise, it took us 1 1/2 hours to get out of Leon and it's suburbs

              It's good to be back on country roads

 This is the first village we walked through after leaving the suburbs of Leon
very cute village
                            Spaniard  selling drinks and food along the way

                                Looking back towards Leon Only two small  hills to climb today

                      This part of Spain is much drier.

                       1 PM -- Entering the village of Chozas deAbajo
                 Sign on the edge of the village

               stopped at a resting area
             Entering the village of Villar de Mazarife
          Stayed at San Antonio de Padua -- the owner - Pepe was a physical therapist, and if one needed his service, he was available -- fortunately; we did not -- we met Patti and Dave along the way and we all had plans to stay with Pepe. Patti is a physical therapist, so she had nice conversations with Pepe
                                  Happy to be at our destination
                      Off with the boots and on with the sandals  .......

      Another Pilgrim we met at this Albergue - she is a physician


 Some of the best food --                                 Paella was fabulous can be made with
        Gazpacho soup                                                                                                                                                    fish, chicken, beef, or veg.


 Yummy desert

October 4, 2015 - Villar de Mazarife to Villares de Orbigo
                                    10.5 miles / 16.9 Km

After  a non-traditional breakfast of cereal, toast, yogurt, coffee con leche
we left at 9 AM, with light rain
The first village, Villavante;  was 6 miles / 9.5 Km up the road -- temperature in the 60's
                                  We stopped for coffee con leche and to check our feet.  
    It is Sunday, so we were fortunate that there was a bar open so early in the morning.

 Large snails enjoying the light misty rain
            Entering the village of Hospital de Orbigo -- the rain has stopped for now -- a good walking day    This is a 13th century Roman bridge. This is Jousting country and the area under the bridge there are jousting events through out the year. As we crossed the bridge, several local Spaniards were walking towards us and one 30 year old gentleman took his hat off to us and bowed -- this was precious. The people in the villages are thankful to the Pilgrims not only because the Pilgrims support the economical aspect of the villages; also, they are aware of the spiritual nature of walking.
                 Man fishing in Rio orbigo
                            We can see the village of Villares de Orbigo in the distance (we hope)
                                        The road is now a little muddier with only a slight rain off and on.

       All bundled up against the rain -- My rain pants and jacket kept me warm and dry
                Fall leaves have fallen
                  Arrived at 1: 45 and stayed at Albergue Villares
          The Albergue was delightful. The owner Kristine was from Belgium and spoke several languages. Kristine walked the Camino 5 years prior and came back 3 years ago and bought this Albergue.   Open courtyard
  Sign on our door -- The top bunk remained empty,
we had our own private bath - towels provided.

       In the bar across from the Albergue, We Shared a ham and cheese sandwich 

          Men playing cards...
      Eve. meal consisted of huge portions of  squash soup, lentil stew, bread, wine, dessert - this was by donation and we all enjoyed the food, along with Kristine's story about her Camino and buying this Alberque. Her words were very gracious, genuine and loving as she said a blessing for us Pilgrims. There were people here from Australia, England, Ireland, France and USA.
                   Desert...  =YUM

October 5, 2015  Villares de Orbigo to Santa Catalina de Somoza
                           14.5 miles / 23.5 Km

 It rained fairly hard during the night and during breakfast at 7 AM the rain was still heavy. Kristine had cereal, toast, and coffee ready for us.  We left ta 9 AM, after the rain started to subside.
                        One of the Pilgrims ready for walking in the rain.............  :)
                       We are ready for anything that comes our way............
                                     The rain  stopped after 1 hour,
                                and the skies were lovely
               AND the path was very muddy -- I loved it, reminded me of growing up on the farm
                                 and trucking through the mud to feed the cows and horses

                Marker honoring the Pilgrims
                      More Mud
                        Lovely skies
                     More mud and  water puddles
                        Pilgrims took the time to make a arrow with the rocks
                 The Labyrinth is a symbol of a Pilgrimage
                                                       - This was near a Vendor , out in the middle of nowhere

              Cross at the top of the hill just before Astorga
                         Resting spot near the cross
                                   Astorga  Population 12,000

                                           Most beautiful skies today 

                 Pilgrim at the bottom of the hill  -- one of the many drinkable water fountains

                        Time for Coffee con leche and carbs -- (danish with chocolate) 
I left my gloves
in the Bar
and one of the
brought them
to me as we
crossed the
street.. I was so grateful !!

The Clouds are looking a little darker, so we put our rain cloths back on ..

The churches were beautiful. Only one of them was open


We left Astorga around 1 PM. Walking out of Astorga we were parallel to the roadway,
and were almost splashed by the cars as
they drove by.... No worries - we still had our
rain pants and jackets on and were staying dry.

After more muddy paths, We found a Tapas bar in Murias de Rechivaldo -- yummy vegetarian Bar. We were the only customers.
The soil was a deep red color
only 2.7 miles / 4.3 Km to our destination.

               Fortunately, the path was flat with one gradual incline
                          as we progressed closer to Santa Catalina the clouds were moving away from us.

                3: 30 --  The winds are getting stronger, but with little rain this last hour.
                                                   We can see Santa Catalina in the distance..  almost there
                  We stayed in this peaceful village at San Blas Hostel
                                                     - there were only 2 other Pilgrims there with us: 
                 CeCe & Bob  from Salt Lake City. We had a lovely eve. with them, sharing stories

            3 beds in our room - with our own bathroom and towels - 20 Euros per person

Sept 6, 2015 --  Santa Catalina de Somoza to Foncebadon  
                                      11 miles /  17.8 Km

The first 10 Km was a gradual incline, with a steeper mountain of 300 meter elevation
                    towards the end of our day.

          -  approximately 8 AM -  Leaving the village of Santa Catalina with a beautiful sunrise -
                    Morning selfie
                We often saw brick / stone buildings with more modern doors
              Rain ponchos on our back packs - the first hour we had rain, then
           The clouds were most colorful. Temps today 55 - 60 degrees
             We saw many rainbows this AM                                The roses were still in bloom


                      By 11 AM, the clouds were a little lighter.............. entering El Ganso

In  El Ganso
I came across 
the Cowboy Bar

A cute place -
of course, with
country western 
music --

Nancy was ahead of 
me and she did not
stop at this bar.

Patti and Dave were here

nice to see familiar faces. They stayed for a while and I kept going .

Inside the Cowboy bar

           More rainbows............

                       A little sunshine.... and a little rain - it was an amazing feeling having the sun on my back and the light rain falling on me.

A few rocks on the path,
otherwise the way 
is easy

     Poster at a rest stop
                    Path surrounded by trees  --peaceful
                                    Memorial Marker

     Lovely ferns.......

After the lovely ferns and easy path, the rains came and for about 20 min. with gusty winds all around me --  I was so happy to see Nancy at the Bar in Rabanal del Camino - it is now 1:30. we had Coffee con Leche and egg tortilla. After we rested and ate, the skies were lighter and we were ready to move onward.....
               Our destination, Foncebadon,  at the top of the hill  The sun came out nicely, the temperature was comfortable. I'm about 45 minutes from the village

  Then 20 minutes before entering the town, the winds picked up with gusty from all directions,  with light to heavy rains. I was cold and tired by the time I arrived in the town.  I found Nancy at the Convento de Foncebandon Albergue. We had a very comfortable , warm room (some Albergue did not turn the heat on as it was too early in the season to do so).
                 The Albergue has a very colorful dining area
              I enjoyed a very tasty beer and some nuts and relaxed after a warm shower
            Next to our Albergue was La Taberna de Gaia Bar - with a Mid-evil atmosphere 

            Our waitress - the food was excellent -- Soup, salad, deer meat,  bread, wine

October 7, 2015  Foncebadon to Ponferrada 15.5 miles /  25 Km

Today we will be hiking down the mountain - approximately 2780 feet / 850 meters. We left just before sunrise - 8 AM
                           I loved the sunrise.  The first 1.2 miles was a gradual incline

           ...  then I reached Cruz de Ferro -- Cross on the hill  -- Over the years, Pilgrims have been leaving their "burdens" at the foot of the cross, as represented by the stones or other objects that they left here  - I brought a sea shell from Florida that I carried with me; but decided to not leave it here; but to throw it in the ocean on the east coast of Spain to celebrate my completion. Today, I said a prayer and left some of my character defects here, and replaced them with my intention of compassion and peacefulness.  This is the picture I took
                 This is the picture Nancy took, as she was perhaps 20 min. ahead of me.
              There were several Pilgrims on the path today, many of them I had not seen before

    After another 1.5 miles, I reached Manjarin. The only structure here is a 35 bed ( mattress on the floor) Hostel with outside toilet. A businessman from Madrid, who gave up his successful business to run this Hostel, could be heard singing a chant. I talked to a lady Pilgrim who stayed here - the Hostel is set up like a mid-evel dwelling. It was very dark at night, yet very peaceful, with a delicious meal cooked by the Pilgrims.

 One more mile of slight elevation, then it was downhill all the way to Molinaseca, approximately
6.8 miles / 11 Km. The country side was beautiful !!!! The path was rocky and I was blessed that it was not raining, as it would have made the walking much more dangerous. I took my time and truly enjoyed the scenery

            Entering the village of Acebo at 10 : 50 AM

          After another 2.4 miles (1 hour 20 min = 20 min. slower then my usual pace)
I entered the village of Riego de Ambros

                         Here I found a bar that was open and had a cheese sandwich

In the guidebook, the rest of the downhill path does not look that steep; but in reality, this was the most difficult path due to the continued steepness and the large rocks. My pictures do not show the steepness of the decline.

          a Nice respite that was flat...
                 Shoes left behind by a Pilgrim
                 Solid rock with high potential for slipping.

            1:20 PM with the village of Molinaseca in the valley,
                                 the village looks so close; yet there were steep declines ahead

         One last steep decline into Molinaseca.
       It was 2 PM when I crossed the bridge over the rio Maruelo --
       I stopped at the first Bar I came to - El Palacia and had chicken wings and french fries                     and sent Nancy a WatsApp message

 Nancy had already checked into the Hotel in Ponferrada which was 4.3 miles / 6.9 Km away.
I decided that I had had enough walking for one day - Mostly my energy level was at an all time low. My leg muscles and knees only ached slightly and I knew I did not want to walk for another 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  So for 6 Euros I took a taxi to El Castillo Hotel and met Nancy.
After resting, we toured the Castle. It was most fortunate that we stayed in Ponferrada, as we had time to go to the Castle; plus it was the day of the week for free admission.

When the Monarchs of León donated Ponferrada to the Order of Temple, in the year 1178, the Templar knights found a small fortress that had originally been a castle and later on a Roman citadel. They extended and improved it in order to defend the Road to Santiago; it would be finished by the year 1282. The Castle nowadays is the result of several building works.

Inside the walls 
of the Castle 


            At the top of the Castle


                  A great day it was -- so grateful to have come down the mountain without injury
  Yummy Pilgrim's meal at our hotel --     We both had Salad with walnuts, figs and ham

 Nancy had Lasagna                            I had ham, french fries and the green peppers were                                                                             saute in olive oil and were delicious.

 Plus the most Yummy desert - cake at the bottom with creamy pudding and whip cream

Oct 8, 2015  ---   Molinaseca to Cacabelos   15.5 miles /25 Km

Note that I did not start out today in Ponferrada -- A true Pilgrim does not take a taxi, nor do they stay in hotels and private rooms, nor send their back pak ahead by taxi. Yet one can create their Pilgrimage the way they need to. In the guide book, it is stressed that one does not judge another Pilgrim. We met young Pilgrims who would walk 18.5 miles / 30 Km every day, those that carried a tent and only slept outside. Plus we met Pilgrims who had made arrangements with a travel agent to have their pack sent ahead every day to the hotel that they were staying at, plus we saw people doing the Camino via bus.
              It does not matter how one takes their journey, it is all about the experience 

So -- I decided I wanted to walk the  4.3 miles / 6.9 Km that I had missed walking yesterday.
I took a taxi back to the
El Palacia and started walking towards Ponferrada at 7:30 AM.

      It was a great morning for walking - 60 degrees,  Lovely low clouds

      In the cities, we often saw graffiti or cute drawings such as this one..

           At 9:20 AM, I walked past the castle, stopped for Coffee con leche and coffee cake - YUM.  I headed east out of Ponferrada, with plans to meet Nancy in Cacabelos. There were few signs to follow, so I asked twice if I was on the correct road. The Spanish people are always eager to assist us Pilgrims.  The second week we were on our Camino, we came to a large Plaza in one of the larger cities; and we stopped to look for the yellow arrow, and almost immediately, one of the men sitting on the park bench pointed in a direction and said "Camino this way". 

Pictures of the city as I'm leaving Panferrada --

 At 1045 AM, I walked into the next village of Columbrianos


      A short 1.4 miles and I walked into Fuentes Nuevas

I stopped at a Bar and had a ham and cheese sandwich -- It was huge
                                            -- I ate 1/3 of it and stuffed the rest in my back pak.

           There was a cooking show on the TV in the Bar

       A few of the buildings in Fuentes Nuevas

A easy 1.5 miles later,  I enter the Village of Camponaraya

       Leaving the village - I met a few Pilgrims along the way
- Fran, Dennis, Brent, Richard, Natalie,
 Looking back towards Componaraya, ahead of me is a bridge  over the roadway

I'm now in vine country

 Entering Cacabelos . As I came to the top of this ridge, there was a Spanish lady picking lavender - I made the comment on how lovely - she gave me a large handful. I carried this with me until I reached Santiago.

 Wall Mural

We had reservations at Santa Maria Hostel.
I found the Hostel with no difficulty, and 
Nancy had checked in and her
back pack was in the room.

About the time I was ready to
explore the city, Nancy
showed up - she had washed her
cloths out by hand and hung them
up to dry.  There have been times that our cloths are not dry in the morning - so pinning them to our back pack has been a good way to dry our cloths... 

Museum in the village

Note the either 
real or fake hair

River and park in the village of Cacabelos

  We had our Pilgrim meal with Rosalia, Katheryn from Canada 
Christan  and Josetta from France
October 9, 2015 -- Cacabelos to Trabadelo 12.4 miles / 20 Km

Coffee con Leche and toast, then we are on our way by 8:20 AM. The path leads us over the river, along the roadway and towards the vineyards.
We are blessed with a gorgeous sunrise

             a short one hour to the second village of Vialtuille de Arriba
                A little fog as we move closer to the valley

 Vineyards -- different varieties

 The village of Villafranca del Bierzo in the distance

 9 AM, we arrive in 
Villafranca del Bierzo
and stop for a snack

 and Coffee con Leche.

We met a 21 year old young lady who was walking the Camino with her Grandma.  They were from Oregon 

   We have 2 options... We decide to take the path that goes up the
mountain with an elevation of 1150 feet.
The initial incline is very steep.

 Looking up the path .............
  I moved ahead of Nancy for a short time --
looking back at Nancy & the village of
Villafranca del Bierzo

The Path continues up and up and up

 The views along the way were fabulous.
                   Area of a fire, several years ago

 1115 AM and we are to the 'top' - here we met MerryElla -- she was traveling alone, Nancy gave her some water as she was out and there was still a distance to go before coming to a village.

Here we found rock formations and words on some of the rocks
                          A reminder to be grateful
We thought we were the only 3 people on the mountain, then
we find Natalie from Los Angeles and Anna from Belgium 

       The path continues and  -- a few more trees, 
but no sign of coming down the mountain for what seems like a long time...

We now have come to a grove of fig trees, and the farmers - men and ladies are filling bags with 
figs. One of the farmers tells us that we can cut through the trees -- with our previous adventure of going off the designated Camino trail, we decided to follow the yellow arrows.
          12:40 --  We finally come to the road that we need to walk on.
 Then the path leads us off the road, and down a fairly steep path....
 Looking back at the path - you can see the steepness .... Ahhhhhhh
 1:20 PM ----  We can now see the village of Trabadelo -- we had planned to go to the village after Trabadelo; but we both by now were ready to be done walking for the day.

 The path switches back and forth.... with a steep decline.

 We find a room at the first Albergue we come to......  Yeah  !!
A little Ibuprofen helped ease my achy feet.... This is the first time that my feet
truly ached.
One of the local Spaniards.

We met Hal & Mo from Canada, Terry & Duncan from Calif. -- 
Had a fabulous Pilgrim meal
pesto soup, trout, custard.

 I looked at all the stamps I had on my 'passport' I'm amazed at how far I have come in 29 days

Nancy wants to walk farther tomorrow -- I am choosing to walk 11 miles / 17 Km
due to the 1800 feet /  550 meter elevation in these 11 miles I will stay in Laguna.
We have plenty of time, as our flight to go back home does not leave Paris until Nov 1st.


 October 10, 2015  ---  Trabadelo to Laguna de Castilla
 11 miles / 17 Km

On our way by 7 AM -- a lovely day -- Temps in the low 60's  - No rain today...

 8:30 we stop in La Portela de Valcarce for coffee con leche and food...

 Church in the village
We followed the road that paralleled the river

 9:15 AM entered Vega de Valcarce
 We often saw cloths hanging on the line in the villages

 This dog did a lot of barking -- so glad he did not jump the fence..

 So far the path is without elevation -- entering Ruitelan

Stopped in the church to say a prayer

Lovely countryside - peaceful

                The path was on the road ; we saw very few cars

Entering Herrerias -- 

Interesting signs on the bathroom doors - we will soon be entering the Providence of Galicia with different language for some things and specific foods to this region.
There are advertisements to have a guide take one to the top of the mountain via horses --
any way one needs to get to the top is OK....  we walked...


 We continue to follow the river ( rio Pereie)

Starting to see
more cows 

Path starting to 
gain elevation...
 We are now off the road and on a dirt path in the forest

This is where I loose Nancy, as I slow down, and she speeds up

I arrive at the small Village of  La Faba. It's noon, and I rest for awhile,
 have some snacks that I have in my pack back and decide to continue.

The path is rocky and steeper....     I met a couple (looked to be a few years older then me) from Canada. The wife had fallen last Nov, and had 3 screws put in - just like me when I fell last February. We shared rehap stories -- She had no physical therapy after her operation. I can not imagine me doing this without having had my great physical therapy team after my surgery.

Here are the horses that I could have rented to get myself up this mountain.
Wish I was on one right about now......

 At the top of the hill there are 4 horses -- The owner is unable to get 2 of his horses to continue on the path -- they want to eat the grass... He asked me to chase them towards him -- I was able to do so; but they only just crossed the road to a greener pasture. 

 Beautiful views....
 The Path continues......

 Looking back to see how far I've come

 Arrived in Laguna de Castilla at  1:30 PM. Tired and ready to stop for the day. 
Regarding the house in this photo --  the animals live in the bottom floor,
the family is on the second floor - this is done to help with heating the house.
Winters in this area a very cold with snow.

This is a very small village,
La Escuela Albergue -  family owned  - I found Patti and Dave
here - it was nice
to see familiar faces.
I stayed in a 8 bed room
Dave & Patti also slept there.
We shared the Pilgrim
Meal together
-- Potato Soup, chicken,
french fries and custard.

I saw several herds of cows being herded through the town

 A farmer & his son
- This is so precious !!

Next Blog - in the Providence of Galicia

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