Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The path westward this evening

Originally uploaded by johnpigott0820
Robin and I had a great walk today. First of all it was not raining, the wind was calm, and the temperatures were very mild as we walked ouit of the albergue this morning. After the experiences of yesterday at Cruz de Ferro this was as close to heaven as I am likely to get. One thing that continues to amaze me is the visual distance you walk in a day. Perhaps the kilometers are not huge but it is amazing when you look back and see (when you can) the ground that you have covered. Today as we were starting out the mountains marking the Galician border seemed far in the distance, yet by the end of the day we were all but in them. Amazing. So to back up a bit, we enjoyed a very pleasant stay at the San Nicholas de Flue albergue in Ponferrada. There were about 8 of us there that night. We remembered the hospitelero there from our stay in Najera. He was a very kind guy and it was a pleasure to see him again. So this morning, fortified with a couple of cafe con leches, we set off into the streets of Ponferrada as the city stirred to life. We wound our way through the suburbs and eventually found beautiful open vistas as we moved out into the countryside. The distant mountains (of this morning) drew ever closer as the day progressed and it became clear that climbing was in our immediate future. But the beauty of the land overshadowed any concerns of the effort it would take to crest O´Cebriero. For today we just enjoyed the walk, the beautful landscapes, and the great weather (64 F this afternoon). Tomorrow we will split the trip up O´Cebreiro into two stages. This will give Robin´s ankle, and my creaky knees a chance to recover. Perhaps we will try for Vega de Valcarce tomorow and then top O´Cebreiro the next day. We are fortunate that we have the time to make these kinds of schedule adjustments. So that is what we will do. We spent a very pleasant evening here in Villafranca. We found a great restaurant, in the Plaza Mayor, that was open at 7:30 when we strolled in. We had a great meal, a bottle of wine and are now getting ready to call it a day. More later from our camino as we head off into the mountains tomorrow. Most importantly, all is well.



  1. We are enjoying every word. Like being there without the pain/discomfort and thrilled by the moments of glory! We're all cheering for you!
    Love, Karen & Ian

  2. John, you have the right idea to divide the O'Cebreiro leg in half. the village of O'Cebreiro is worth some time to appreciate. put some flowers at the base of Don Elias Valina Sampedro's statue. Get ready for the Atlantic weather. Our thoughts are with you. J&S

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Know that you are both in our prayers and thoughts and that we support your courage---be present every moment..........know that your presence is missed here in Vancouver but your journey is a blessing to all.

    Love to you both