Madrid Camino Day 22 – El Acebo to Ponferrada

May 28, 2017

In Ponferrada after another gruelling downhill walk.

The day was mercifully cool as I walked through mists in the high mountains, listening to birdsong, the rush of small waterfalls and burbling creeks. Last night’s storms produced more hail than I have ever seen and the damage to the forest and the trail was extensive. Some people had been caught out walking and it was reportedly nightmarish – not to mention extremely painful.

An atmospheric morning on the Camino

Walked most of the day with two really nice people – Sue from Australia and Sylvie from Orleans, Ontario, Canada. Sylvie happens to live a block from my mother. Small world. Nice to be with people closer to my own age as it makes for interesting discussion. We were all limping a bit so we walked slowly and since the distance for the day was only about 18km we had plenty of time for taking pictures and breaks. There are donation boxes on tables of food in the craziest places – I made fresh squeezed orange juice for us all today on a mountaintop in the forest – nothing ever tasted so good. 

A self serve table miles from anywhere

Ponferrada is famous for having been a stronghold for the Knights Templar, protectors of pilgrims, and there is a magnificent castle and an ancient hospital here.

Took a long bath and had dinner from the grocery store. Lovely video chat with Cathy and Henry back at home and had a very good rest. Tomorrow looks relatively flat to Villafranca, then the next day will be the steepest and longest climb to date.