Today was a great day. No rain, not super hot. It was actually quite chilly for the first 5km this morning and we wore our jackets. After that, warm, but enjoyable.
This morning before we started, I used a pin to pop another blister. It stung pretty good under the compeed, but took so much of the pressure away once my boots were on. Mom has had to pop one of hers 5 times now to keep draining it, and Karis’ big one on her heel has popped and the skin has come off around it leaving it quite raw. We are all loving the compeed. It keeps us walking.
Not long after we left El Acebo, Karis wiped out for the third time this trip going down a hill. She reopened the scab on her knee and we patched her up again.
We passed through a village called Molinaseca and stopped there for breakfast. Mom went inside to order while Karis and I waited at a table outside. When our two orders of toast came, they had ham on them. Strange. Karis ate one and so did mom. (Without the ham) and we went back inside to order two more orders of toast with “no carne”. The lady laughed and told us that when we had asked for JAM, she thought that meant HAM in Spanish. From now on we ask for marmalade… 😉
The stray cat that found our table loved our ham though! And loved Karis who fed it to her! Karis just confessed to me that even now as we lay in bed, she still has a piece of bacon wrapped up in her pocket for the next stray animal she finds… Niiice.!
The hills that we descended out of El Acebo and into Ponferrada were steep and rocky. Much like the decent into El Acebo. It becomes very hard on the feet and ankles. Always bracing yourself to be sure not to slip. My walking poles have become my best friend. I don’t know how people can do this walk without them. Lots of shale, loose rocks, and large, slippery sheets of rock. After about 18km today, my boots came off and I finished the day in my flip flops again.
Ponferrada is home to a beautiful castle called, “Castillo de Los Templarios”. It was built in the 12th century and it is a national monument in Spain. It is breathtaking. We’ve seen many, many churches, but this was the first castle.
We’ve settled into the municipal albergue for the night. The nicest municipal we’ve stayed at. It has it’s own church, small pool with a fountain to soak your painful feet in, large grounds with outdoor seating, outdoor and indoor laundry and wonderful showers. The three of us even have our own room! We were able to cook our own dinner, and shared the leftovers with other hungry pilgrims. The hospitalera named Maria who checked us in is from Calgary, so that was super nice! She is on her 15 day volunteer stretch and was very informative about the albergue and history surrounding it. We happen to be sleeping on the city’s old cemetery. When Karis’ eyes grew big with terror, she assured her that all of the bodies were exhumed and moved into the new cemetery.
Checkout time tomorrow is 7:30. Planning to be up by 6:30. Hoping to find wifi in the morning to upload this blog. Also hoping that tomorrow night we have wifi in our albergue which will give me time to upload pictures to yesterday’s blog, as well as today’s.