September 2017
  • Day37

    Ponferrada

    October 13, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    10.13.2017 Friday. Rest day

    Toured the grand Templar castle built in 13th century. But, the highlight of the day was another great restaurant Manny had discovered. Off the beaten tourist path hid a charming small restaurant with a beautiful view of the hill over the river below. Manny and I shared a wonderful fresh fish (the only fresh fish we had since arriving in Spain) with of course a wonderful wine. Dessert was a delicious lemon mouse. Needless to say we weren't very hungry for any dinner.Read more

  • Day37

    Foncebadón to Ponferrada

    October 13, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    10.12.2017 Thursday - 17 miles 9 hours

    A very emotional day today. We finish our ascent from the highest town to the highest point on the Camino, the Iron Cross (Cruz de Ferro). It's origin can be traced back to the Romans to mark territory but the most know is to mark the Way (to Santiago) when it is hidden by snow.

    Tradion is the pilgrim places a stone they have brought from their origin as a recognition of leaving behind sins and burdens in their lives. Each has their own variation and personal intentions as to it's meaning.

    It is a very personal moment with great emotion. As we began to descend, our walk was quiet, deep in our own thoughts.
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  • Day34

    Astorga to Foncebadón

    October 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 48 °F

    10.11.2017 Wednesday 17 miles

    Leaving Astorga on a chilly morning. We start out with very cold hands that warm up after the first hour and by afternoon we're wearing short sleeves. The way is starting to change from brown to rolling hills with some greenery and pretty scenery. We start our looonnnggg ascent to the highest town on the camino.

    It was a long 8 hour day with a stop for lunch. Our destination was at an alburque in Foncebadón. The town had been deserted but is now being revived by the increase of pilgrims on the Camino. It looked like an old delapputated western town with no street. Many houses were still deserted. The last photo is the view across from our alburque.....no paved road, just uneven dirt and rocks!
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  • Day34

    Astorga

    October 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 55 °F

    10.10.2017 Tuesday

    We continue to be blessed with cool mornings, blue skies and warm afternoons. We haven't seen any rain since the Pyrenees.

    It was an incredible to be standing in a city, Astorga, that was founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. We were able to see some remains of city walls built by the Romans!
    We visited the beautiful Astorga cathedral which is an amazing mixture of Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, Neo-Classicist and Baroque since it was constructed over several centuries.
    We also toured the 19th century Episcopal Palace (Palacio Espiscopal), designed by Antoni Gaudi.

    Lunch at Las Termas was a special treat. A local restaurant with no menu. Just sit down and they start serving food. First a dish of mixed meats (beef, chicken, sausage, pig ears, bacon)...all you can eat. We ate a lot, expecting that was the meal. But no, next came a large dish of cooked garbanzo beans with cabbage that was delicious! ....all you can eat. As if we didn't have enough, here comes the soup. Superb. Followed by home made dessert! Not to mention 2 great bottles of temparillo wine. All this, bottled water and great bread - €22
    Incredible!!!
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  • Day32

    Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

    October 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 64 °F

    10.9.2017 Monday 21 miles

    Up at at the crack of dawn to attempt one of our longest days - 21 miles.

    The advantage of walking extra miles will allow us more time in Astorga and to rest up for our next mountain climb to the highest point on the Camino.

    Feet all taped and ready to go. Oh yes, wonderful paper tape.... cover healed blisters and pray you've taped the right areas so you don't get any new ones!
    The sunrise was beautiful with not a cloud in the sky. We have had great weather. No rain, cool mornings and warm afternoons.

    Starting to see a few more hills and corn crops as we approach Astorga. Today's photos show some of the many peregrino statues dedicated to the Camino.
    Exhausted, we crawled into Astorga boasting we had made it all the way.
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  • Day32

    León to Villar de Mazarife

    October 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 66 °F

    10.8.2017 Sunday 13.5 milea
    🚶‍♂️🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️🚶‍♀️
    Up at 6:30 (45°) and on our way again. We walked nearly 4 miles before we were out of the city. On the way out we were able to see the León Pompadour Hotel and get a stamp for our Camino passport.
    The way was more than half paved and still over mostly brown dry fields. We had a wonderful communal meal at the auberque we stayed at. Salad, Gazpacho soup, paella, crepe dessert and wine - €10. It was nice to chat with new pilgrims from South Africa.

    To bed early for a long walk tomorrow!
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  • Day32

    León

    October 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 46 °F

    10.7.2017 Saturday
    Second day of rest ☺

    We returned to the León Cathedral to see the museum and were treated to see a huge open market in the plaza. The size and quality of the produce was outstanding. Then off to the museum.
    Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in the Cathedral so I can only say it had an incredible display of artifacts from the 10th to 17th century.
    At night the streets were filled with people (I think all of Leon) celebrating with bands playing throughout the streets. It was quite the spectacle!
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  • Day31

    León

    October 7, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    10.6.2017 Friday

    Cathedral León
    We visited this French inspired 13th-16th century cathedral in the late morning (today was one of the rare days we were able to sleep in 😴and rest our weary feet 💅). Upon entry there are 128 stained glassed windows with a surface of 1800 sq metres. Absolutely breathtaking. It took over am hour just for the audio tour and we'd have to return Saurday just to visit the museum.

    Probably haven't mentioned that all of Spain still takes a siesta in the afternoon. Typically from about 1:30 -4:00 pm (and later) All stores are closed and only some cafes and tourist shops are open.

    Evening was a relaxing gathering in our apartment with 4 of our lovely Canadian Camino friends. 🍷🍷🍷

    In the evening we enjoyed the Mideval festival feast and entertainment.
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  • Day28

    Mansilla de las Mulas to León

    October 4, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 61 °F

    10.5.2017 Thursday
    And uneventful entry into León through the commercial area led us to the center of the old city. There stood a breathtaking view of the León Cathedral. We were fortunate to arrive for yet another feast (León Province) - San Froilán. Looking forward to a couple days of rest and enjoying the festival!Read more

  • Day28

    El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas

    October 4, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 61 °F

    10.4.2017 Wednesday 14 miles.

    A beautiful cool day to walk. Long stretches of straight dirt path made the walking easier. Throughout the last few days we have been seeing what appear to be huts made into a hill with a chimney. A more elaborate one can be seen in the third photo below. They are used for storage for food and wine

    The best part of this day was our dinner. It was the best meal we've had on the Camino. La Curiosa only seats 18 people and I can only say the meal was fabulous. We were amazed when our meal was only €12.50 per person for first course, second course, dessert, coffee, bread, bottled water and wine! My spare ribs (deep fried) with homemade chips was the best I had ever tasted. A great way to end our day.
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