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    • Day 7

      Day 43 - Puebla de Sanabria - 12.5 km

      November 2, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

      Weather: 1 - 13 degrees. Cloudy with some sun. Brrrr
      Clothes: short and long sleeve merino tops, light wind fleece, rain jacket, trekking pants.

      The walk.
      I’m looking forward to Puebla - it has a medieval old town and the nearby lake is the largest glacial lake on the Iberian peninsula.
      What a beautiful day. Wonderful sunrise and blue sky for much of the morning.
      My German friend Peter warned me last night that this next section on the Camino can be flooded after rain and that he was going to walk along the road - and that is a bit shorter as well.
      I started off with Peter along the road but thought I would walk the off road Camino. However when I got to the turn off something stopped me. I looked at the map and read the route description again. It sounded like this could be even worse than some of the other wet sections I had already traversed. A quick check in with the body and I headed back to the road.
      And what a beautiful walk - virtually no traffic and beautiful autumn trees (Birch, Chestnut and others I couldn’t identify) on either side of the road. A little later there were windfall apples again - delicious.
      And then the real mountains appeared ahead - the ones that will eventually be covered in snow - again reminding me of the Snowy Mountains - this time the view from Geehi Flats (the old air strip) where we used to pick blackberries.
      So many of the landscapes of Spain remind me of Australia. New yet familiar.
      Arrived at Puebla around 11.30 am, stopped at the supermarket for some fruit and the Farmacia for some more ibuprofen and Panadol. I had a quick look at the town and then on over the second river crossing to my hotel. It looked a bit run down from the outside but the inside is great - filled with all sorts of collectables from the area.
      The manager also said I can use their computer so I can finally fill out the form for the claim for a fraudulent transaction on my Cash Passport card. Better late than never.
      Staying in a hotel also gives me the chance to completely empty my pack and get organised again.
      On the next day or so we will go over the highest point on this Camino and then down hill to Santiago.
      Later in the afternoon I walked back up to the old town and had a peaceful wander around the castle and adjacent streets. A lovely way to end the day.

      Buen Camino

      PS. Managed to wash and dry most of my clothes. I washed undies, socks and one top earlier and when the heaters came on washed some more. My wind fleece was looking grubby so now it too is clean and fresh.
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    • Day 32

      Rionegro del Puente - Asturianos 29 km

      May 31, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      I got up as late as I could, I didn't want to leave too late as I was hoping to get a coffee in Mombuey, just 10 km away, and most cafés don't open until 0800 or later. The bearded Spaniard and the French couple Jeannette and Arno and I all left within a few minutes of each other and split up as we all found our own pace. I was in the middle and I could see the light of the bearded Spaniard in the distance ahead, and Jeannette and Arno's behind me.

      It was going to be a long day today, 29 km, but fortunately it was cloudy so we were out of direct sunlight for most of the day. I got to Mombuey in no time at all, I had only stopped to photograph the sunrise, and there was a bar open so I went in for breakfast, the bearded Spaniard was there, and I 'chatted ' with him for a few minutes, (short chat, he only spoke a few words of English and I only had basic Spanish). He had also been taking photographs with a Nikon DSLR, a bulky and expensive piece of kit to carry on the camino.

      Refreshed, I set off again. I still had about 20 km to go, and whilst it was pleasant enough, after a while it was just became a bit of a slog, with quite a few inclines, I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going because there was no other choice, there was nothing to go back to, and all the arrows pointed forward.

      By the time I got to Asturianos, I was very weary, and my legs were a bit wobbly so instead of going to the albergue on the far side of town, I made a beeline for the café to refuel, Camino Ken's number 1 rule is - never walk past a café without stopping for a coffee. I was happy to keep that rule.

      The albergue is attached to a sports centre and was not at all as it was described in the guidebook. The guide says there are only 6 beds but it looked like the whole place had been renovated and there were three rooms with a total of 22 beds. The toilet and shower units were brand new and fabulous with piping hot water. I did my washing then sat and ate the sandwich that Mirjam had made for me last night (from the heart), it was the best sandwich I have ever had.

      The restaurant was in the sports centre part and the food was ok, and not expensive, after being fed and watered we all trekked down to the only shop before it closed. after that there was really nothing to do except sort out our washing, and repack our mochilas, and sit in the sun.

      I am finding every day that I spend with Meg, Kathleen, Anne and Mirjam that a deepening bond of friendship is developing between us, and I guess that to onlookers that might seem strange. We are, after all, an odd bunch, and interestingly although Julia and Anita are not with us at the moment, they are such a part of our conversation and our thoughts that it feels like they are with us in spirit. I think this is unusual, even for the camino which has an uncanny ability to bring people together, this feels like family.
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    Asturianos, 49325

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