Spain
Castille and León

Here you’ll find travel reports about Castille and León. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

166 travelers at this place:

  • Day24

    Leon to Ponferrada

    May 13 in Spain

    Hello from Ponferrada, Spain. First off, Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom...thank you for all of your support! I took it easy today and got myself to Ponferrada. I stayed in a small hotel last night so, unlike an albergue, check out time was not until noon. That enabled me to sleep in and take my time this morning. I also got my flight booked to come home this morning. I have an 8:30 am flight on Friday the 25th out of Porto, Portugal landing in Boston at 1:20 pm. An 11 hour flight but I lose 6 hours with the time difference. I will take the train or bus to Portland and Connor is picking me up there. I met up with two older gentlemen from London last night in Leon. They had just arrived and begin walking to Santiago today. They are taking the easier method of walking the Camino....they walk until they are tired and call someone from their booking agency to drive them to the next town. We met up at a cafe and when they learned I had been walking for almost three weeks, they wanted to here some of my stories. As it turned out, we had dinner together and had a great political discussion among other topics. The really great part?...they bought the wine!...which was the really good stuff! I arrived at the bus depot in Ponferrada at around 3pm. I had a 2mile or so walk to find the Camino path and a place to stay around 4:30. I ended up in a small albergue. I had dinner tonight with an engineer from Frankfort, Germany and a physician from Barcelona, Spain. Again, great discussion and food. Tomorrow, I am on the trail again...15 miles to the next town. I will enter the province of Galicia in the next couple of days. Galacia is very mountainous and the scenery is stunning I have been told so the photos from here on in to Santiago should be great. Galacia also has a huge Celtic influence so that should be interesting to see. It is also known for its seafood...especially octopus and I will be trying that out for sure. It is also very mountainous, so I will be grinding up and down huge hills once again. That’s it from here...I hope this finds everyone well!Read more

  • Day23

    Castrojeriz to Leon

    May 12 in Spain

    Hey, from the city of Leon, Spain. So, today, reality took over. I woke up this morning in a small town on the meseta in central Spain. I knew as I have known for days that as much as I walked, I would not have enough days to get to Santiago. My choices were to ask for two more weeks off so I would have the time to complete this trip or to travel forward by bus or train. I decided that I cannot ask my coworkers to cover me for an additional two weeks and to be honest, I have no desire to be out here for an additional two weeks anyway. So, instead of slogging through the rain on the meseta with no realistic goal in sight, I decided to catch a bus to Leon. I have a difficult time with this as I set out to complete the whole 500 miles but will fall short of that goal. But, at the same time, I do realize that I set very difficult goals for myself. I thought I could bang out the 16 miles a day pace without rest days and complete this in 32 days. To the contrary, I have discovered that unless you are a marathoner, young and in shape, that is not a realistic goal. My son could do it in that time frame being 19 and in shape from a lacrosse season, but not I. Soooo...I will start again on the trail from Ponferrada on Monday morning. That is 128 miles from Santiago. I have been averaging 12 miles per day for the past 2 1/2 weeks. I will need to average 15 miles per day to get to Santiago, give myself time to get to Portugal and get my ass on a plane back home on the 25th of this month. But, at least this is an obtainable goal. I will settle for the 328 miles walking...short of my goal...but okay in my mind. I have already accomplished what I set out to do when I started this. Also, there are many ways to do this trek. Many people send there pack forward by courier....I have chosen to grind it out with my pack on my back the whole way...as I will continue to do till the end. Not many photos today as it was more a travel day and a logistical planning day for me. Goodnight from Leon.Read more

  • Day25

    Good morning from some small village west of Villa Franca del Bierzo where I woke up this morning. I left Ponferrada yesterday morning around 7am and arrived in Villa Franca del Bierzo at around 3pm. The walk was through a few small towns and I am back into vineyards once again. I stayed in a new albergue last night. I was referred to this place by another albergue who was nearly full. The lady who owns it is struggling to make it even though it is a nice place. It was nearly empty except for 3 other people. She doesn’t have a cafe/bar and her WiFi is terrible so it turns a lot of people away. But, she was a very nice lady in her late 60’s I would guess. She even did my laundry for me...washed/dried and folded. And the fact that there were only 3 other people in the large bunk room, I slept very well which is first for an albergue for me. Other than all that, I am just knocking out the miles to Santiago. I hope everyone is well!Read more

  • Day20

    Burgos to Tardajos

    May 9 in Spain

    Greetings from the small town of Tardajos....just west of Burgos on the Meseta. The Meseta is known as the high plateau in central Spain. Whatever it is or whatever it is called, it is a week of no shade and high temps. I left Burgos this morning and headed west. It took some time to get out of the city but one point of interest to me...I came to this place in the road and recognized it immediately when I saw it which is odd because I have never been here before but it was a spot where a big scene in the movie “The Way” was filmed. As I said, I landed in this small town of Tardajos...population 950. I am not sure where everyone is because I have only seen about 10 locals. A lot of the town is boarded up as are a lot of these small Spanish towns. I checked into a pretty modern albergue for $13 for the night complete with a nice cafe/bar and laundry facilities. Some albergues have a washer and dryer but they want around $10 to use them. They also offer hand washing sinks and clothes drying racks for free, which is the option I chose as most people do here. I am sharing a room tonight with 2 German guys, two sisters from Arizona and a young girl from Australia. A very nice bunch as most people are that are walking. I had the “pilgrim meal tonight which is a 3 course meal with wine...for a decent price and the portion size is always very good as well. The hard part about albergues is that you need to be out by 8am...rain or shine. The price you pay for cheap lodging I suppose. That’s it for now, off to sleep in a few. I hope everyone is well! Thank you for checking in!Read more

  • Day130

    Terradillos

    July 9 in Spain

    July 9th

    We are halfway there! Exciting, but daunting knowing we have another 250 miles to go. 😳 Today was one of those days where we had some mental struggles. The walking forever on a straight road/path was hard. The end seemed to never be in sight.

    But...we loved the food truck that showed up just when we needed it, AND our Italian friends reappeared after not seeing them since the 3rd day of our walk. They don’t speak English and we don’t speak Italian, but somehow we communicate 🙂. One of the guys calls Alan “Washington” and I am Barbara. No one understands “Barb” as my name, but when I say ”Barbara”, they nod, smile, and understand.🙂 We spent our first night with them and our 3rd, and when you spend time with people on this journey, they become special to you...quickly. So nice to see them again!

    We are staying in Terradillos tonight and happy to be in a room with just two beds for us...felt like we won the lottery when the woman showed us where we would be. 😀 I’m hoping for more sleep tonight, because I was in a room full of snorers last night.

    Another good moment was walking into Ledigos ( a couple miles before our destination) and being able to order a pizza that was SO good. It was such a simple pleasure when we were tired and hungry.

    Because today was one of those days where I just wanted to get to our albergue, I didn’t really take many pictures at all...a few video snippets, but not much else, and Alan didn’t take a single one...sorry ☺️
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  • Day127

    Castrojeriz

    July 6 in Spain

    July 6th

    We walked about 12/13 miles to Castrojeriz today, which takes us over the 200 mile mark. Woohoo! This village was established by Count Muño (or Nuño Nuñez), who defended the fort at the end of the ninth century against the Arabs. Before that it had been a Celtiberian, Roman and Visigoth fortress. We are staying at an albergue that is in a building that is 500 years old. 😳 The locals say that kings and queens would stop here to stay...crazy old history over here!

    We are really enjoying walking in the early morning with the sounds of the birds as the sun rises. Most of our walk today was along dirt roads or paths with just a little road walking. We had a nice breeze again, and it did not get too hot. One of the videos I added has the sounds of the birds.

    When we walked through the Arc de San Anton today, we could hear some wonderful jazz music coming from a bar/cafe area. We stopped in for drinks and met such a nice man running it. I’m talking with him, he gave us his motto on life: “One should only work for life...Never live to work. When you work for life, then you are happy, you have family, you have friends. You must know that is the important thing. Living to work is an unhappy life.” Very wise words spoken by an extremely happy man 🙂

    We also met a man named Everett (from Los Angeles) who has been walking on the Camino since June 1st. His story of how long it took him to hike up and over the Pyrenees was inspiring. Inspiring because he did not give up, and kept on going for 14 hours! So far he has only been able to do about 10 kilometers a day, but he hopes to lengthen that with the new insoles he bought today. You would like Everett. Maybe we will see him again down the path. I sure hope so. I included a picture of Alan with him.

    I have heard people say that the Camino is special, and we agree. A nineteen year old German boy said today that the Camino is how the whole world should be, and it’s so true. The leaders of the world could learn a lot from this.
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  • Day128

    Población de Campos

    July 7 in Spain

    July 7th

    We were going to stop in Fromista today, but decided to walk on to Población de Campos. We are really glad we pushed on because our albergue has an amazing bar with awesome food - I had some Croquetas caseras that were so yummy, and Alan is oohing and awing over his bacon and cheese bocadillo as I write this.🙂😋

    Another plus at this albergue is that each of our beds are in their own little cubicle mini room...so much better than regular bunk beds. I have added a picture so you can see. Even the beds on top have little mini rooms and stairs that go up to them. It costs 10 euros a piece to stay here, and all of the pilgrims were very excited to see that the washing machine was free...no hand washing today 🙂

    We walked 18 miles today, and for much of the walk (except the last 4 miles) I did not feel well. I told Alan I was not going to eat as much tonight as I did last night. Even though last night’s dinner was amazing, I think it was too much for my system and too late in the evening. We only have around 10/11 miles tomorrow, so I have eaten earlier and way less tonight. We will see how tomorrow goes.

    Because I was battling heartburn and my stomach, I didn’t take many pictures/video today. I took a couple after our big climb up from the valley (we had a great view from the top) and I took some of a few sunflowers 🌻. We have been going by fields of them, but they have not bloomed yet (except for the rogue ones we saw today). I would love to come across a whole field of open sunflowers!
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  • Day130

    Bercianos

    July 9 in Spain

    July 10th

    We had a great day today! We went just over 13 miles, so a few miles shorter than yesterday. The early morning, walking as the sun rises, is amazing to me! Amazing because it’s incredibly beautiful and peaceful, but also amazing because in my normal life I hate mornings - haha! I’m usually a night owl and would rather sleep in a bit. Now, I still may grumble a bit as Alan nudges me awake, but I love it once I’m out walking. 🙂

    The good:
    1. sunrise over the wheat fields
    2. Fields of sunflowers all turned towards the rising sun (I so wish we could see them all in bloom).
    3. Seeing the Moratinos bodegas (caves built into a hill) that were used for wine making and food storage. Some of these were at least 500 years old! Tree was a sign telling us that “No, these are not Hobbit houses” 😂
    4. The best almond pastries from a cafe in Sahagún, and the WiFi at the same cafe so I could upload some posts
    5. Getting to our albergue by noon and enjoying sangria outside
    6. Seeing Andy walk up to the albergue after we worried his Achilles wouldn’t let him continue on today
    7. Shade on the last part of our walk was heavenly
    8. having our own bathroom !!!!!! 😀👍🏻🚽
    9. Talking to Mom and seeing Adrianne’s Snaps 💕

    The Not So Good:
    1. Mosquito bites 😖 I have quite a few from the other day’s early morning walking near some wet areas, and they really itch. Of course Alan has ZERO -not fair!
    2. Flies...I am trying to get used to the flies, but they are annoying. 🤨 Everyone is so used to them here, but, when Alan told me to just ignore them, I told him they tickle when they land on me 😬 drives me nuts!

    We head to Mansilla de las Mulas tomorrow (about 16 miles), and then on to Leon on Thursday where we will spend two nights (taking a rest day)...woohoo!
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  • Day140

    Villafranca

    July 19 in Spain

    We hiked back up into some wine country today ending in Villafranca. Tomorrow, we will try to go about 18 miles ending with the climb to O’Cebreiro. The weather may be wet with some thunderstorms, so we will see if we get that far. ☔️🌩

    Tonight, we had a fun dinner with our friends from the Netherlands, England and Japan. The chickpea soup, that some ordered, ended up having intestine and some other unidentifiable bits which caused lots of uncontrollable laughter...good times. Thank goodness I had the pasta salad!!!

    We are at a stage of our journey where some of our group may go faster or slower to get to Santiago, so we hugged and talked of looking out for each other at the end in case we don’t see each other after tonight. I’m going to think positively and say we will see each other in Santiago, if not before! 🙂

    We have 113 miles left to go.
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  • Day138

    We began the morning by hiking up to Cruz de Ferro. When we arrived, I could see this huge mound of rocks with a wooden pole topped with an iron cross set in the center. There were a few people up on the mound. Since the pilgrims’ path is to actually cross over the mound, Alan and I began climbing and, as I'm looking down to place my feet, I see prayers and messages handwritten on these rocks; pictures drawn, letters, and names. It hit me like a wall, these rocks I was treading upon were thousands of people's inner and most private thoughts. I can’t even explain how powerful it was.

    When we reached the top, I bent down and spread dad’s ashes near a rock that said “Free” and one that said “I Love You” in German. I also left my rock there, and Alan placed his agate next to my rock. So...on this highest point of the Camino, I was able to leave a piece of my dad❤️It was very moving.

    The rest of our hike had us following a path that reminded us of The Sound of Music...beautiful. Then we went down, down, and down some more through cute villages and towns until we finally arrived in Ponferrada. Tomorrow, we head to Villafranca. Only 126 miles left to go.

    Blister and Achilles update: My blister is healed and my Achilles pain was gone this morning. I am hoping it stays gone. 🙂
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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