Camino Day 30: Ponferrada to Villafranca Del Bierzo 25km

There was a somewhat slow start to the day today due to self-inflicted brain damage from last night…

We all regrouped downstairs in Ponferrada hostel Rio Selmo’s bar / cafeteria at 7.30am. Plenty of coffee were drunk, funny that. Then Ben, Deb, Aaron, Sophie and me were on the move.

Here is a bit of Ponferrada suburbia in the morning.

The Camino markers after Ponferrada were stylish and attractive for a while.

The Camino passed through many vegetable and fruit gardens. Some of the local pumpkins were massive. Perhaps they were getting beefed up and ready for Halloween by the end of this month.

There were again plenty of these enormous birds’ nests. They seem to only house smaller birds now as I haven’t seen any big birds in any of them. The nests are huge.

The first half of today foggy and misty. I liked the different colours of the house in front of nature below.

The fog / mist made the first half of the day quite cold. I wore 3 layers of clothing and gloves and I was still shivering at times. A thermometer along the way around 10am said 6 degrees Celsius. It’s all in the humidity.

Power lines disappearing into the fog made for attractive photography.

The Camino today also passed through many vineyards, particularly in the area around Camponaraya. White wine is the main vine product in this region of Castilla y Leon.

This is what happens when somebody translates one language to another using an app . See the 2nd line on the menu. Of course, the word tapas translates to lids in English, but nobody would eat a lid or lids. Giggle…

Black cat on a tin roof.

I saw the cat below walking with unsteady paws on the roof. It looked like there was only a question of time before the inevitable happened.

Unfortunately, I took the photo a fraction too early. Yes, the cat fell down but it didn’t look like the fall caused it any damage to it as it was then gone in an instant.

Interesting mural on a wall in Cavabelos. I didn’t particularly like the top part but the bottom half was nice. Unfortunately, the mural was in a narrow lane, hence the camera angle and the mural being half in the shade.

It was warm and pleasant by this time around midday. The fog and mist was gone.

Water was running underneath this house in Cacabelos. Interesting.

Plenty of rolling hills and beautiful landscape towards the end of today’s stretch. For the last 5 kilometres or so before today’s destination of Villafranca Del Bierzo. A few pictures…

You find “warning for dog” signs everywhere and sometimes they can be funny. This particular sign made me giggle. Even a glimpse of arse there…

Ben, Deb and I arrived in Villafranca Del Bierzo around 1.30pm. Aaron and Sophie were somewhere behind us. Win had already arrived.

As opposed to Ponferrada, Villafranca Del Bierzo was definitely a Camino town. Even this roundabout had a Camino theme. And I don’t mean me.

We got a bed for the night at Albergue de la Piedra across Rio Burbia at the other side of Villafranca Del Bierzo. Ben, Deb and I then walked out again to find somewhere to eat. Our best bet would be back across the bridge to the other side. Here are a few photos along the way.

The bridge. You can see Ben and Deb to the left.

Looking north from the bridge.

Looking south from the bridge.

Villafranca Del Bierzo looked like another alpine environment.

There was another peregrino looking out for you in Villafranca Del Bierzo.

Our late lunch was another “menú del día” on the terraza outside of a restaurant at Plaza Mayor.

I have meant to include a photo on this before and here it is finally. Salads in Spain do always contain tuna. In other words, tuna is a “vegetable” in Spain. See the contents below of my Ensalada Mixta.

I made a stop at the supermercado on the way back to the hostel. Then chilling there for the rest of the day. No alcohol today.

Not so much a hangover as I was tired and it will be a more strenuous day tomorrow. It can climb of up to 700 meters depending on how far I walk.

Ha, I was not the only tired one. Ben too. As I write this at 6.30pm, he is sleeping in a bed behind me.

Final note: 

I walked without my knee guards today. Some distance out of Ponferrada I realized that I didn’t have them on. I thought that I had forgot them at last night’s hostel. Particularly since the knee guards had the same colour as the desk there. And considering my less than optimal mental state this morning after last night’s drinking.

Organizing the clean washing that Albergue de la Piedra had done for me and Ben, I opened my “clean” dry bag and… There they were. The knee guards.

I have never kept the knee guards in any of my 4 dry bags before and regardless, clean they are not. Relief of course. But I was also kicking myself for my post drinking lack of thinking state this morning.

600km walked. 185km left to walk after Day 30

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