DAY 21


MOLINASECA – VILLAFRANCA

17 APRIL

30.9km

It was our second time on the Camino of walking 30km on a day and we’ve decided to leave early – even before sunrise. There is something majestically about walking this time of the morning … to see dawn breaking into a sunny day.

When we’ve arrived in Ponferrada, most of the pilgrims that spent the night there, were just about to leave their albergues. We’ve had to carefully negotiated our way through the city in order to stay on the Camino.

The Camino took us through the medieval city of Ponferrada

I’ve read the previous day in Brierley’s guide book that one can taste wine in the towns on your way to Villafranca. And I’ve quickly realised why … we’ve walked through the one vineyard after the other. It almost reminded us of the farms and vineyards in the small towns of Lutzville and Vredendal in the Western Cape back in South Africa.

We’re walking through the vineyards on our way to Villafranca

It was getting hot and we’ve had to pack away our jackets. My feet were complaining for the first time since Burgos … I was not sure whether it was due to the blisters or because it was hot. There was not a lot of shade as we’ve walked up and down the hills with vineyards as far as the eyes could see.

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A little shade in the trees next to the road – about 5km from Villafranca

Towards Villafrance we’ve walked past one of the pilgrims we’ve seen during our first week. He’s from Germany and also complained about the heat. I was very happy that we were almost in Villafranca and was looking forward to the idea of getting my hiking sandals off and to sit down (preferably under an umbrella) 😉

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The first sight of Villafranca

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Over the river Burbia into Villafranca

We’ve once again chosen an albergue at the very end of the town … on a positive side, it means the road will be shorter tomorrow, but after a long and hot day, it takes willpower to walk through a town to your albergue!

However, our Albergue De la Piedra did not disappoint – it is a private albergue and very modern. For the first time in three weeks we’ve got a private room – how amazing was that!

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A tired pilgrim in front of Albergue De la Piedra 😌

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The beautiful reception area of Albergue De la Piedra

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Opposite our albergue was the river Valcarce – medicine for hot and tired feet!

After a well deserved shower, we’ve walked back into town to one of the many restaurants where we’ve had hamburgers and cold cervezas. We did not really explore the town – was too tired – and spent a relaxing afternoon overlooking the river from our albergue.

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“Only” 200km to Santiago 🙂

We went to bed early … knowing that tomorrow will be another 30km, which promised to be a very strenuous walk all the way up to O Cebreiro.

Categories: Camino Frances (April 2017)

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