Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Acebo to Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo


I want to begin with a response to Gerta saying that I make the Camino sound easy. I would not say it was easy because each day when I reach my chosen Albergue (especially on longer days, but also on short recovery days), I think I have no more steps in my legs. But, always after a rest I am ready to go out and explore. I can’t think of one single adjective, but for now “joyous” will have to do.

September 27
This morning I left before dawn. The first Km was on a narrow road which often had no shoulder. I used my little headlamp to make sure that the oncoming traffic could see me. I was glad when the path started. The downhill was not as steep as yesterday.

The path was rocky.
After a bit more walking,  I met up with Faiza and Steve. Some parts felt like we were like walking through an enchanted forest.

I met up with Steve and Faiza.
We came upon a small pile of stones and Faiza asked me if I wanted to leave my stone there. I placed my stone thinking about how blessed my life is. I know the tradition is to leave behind your past burdens with the stone, but I just have not been thinking about past burdens in my life.  I think about the joy I am experiencing.

I left my stone of burdens.
We stopped for something to eat in Reigo de Ambros and walked over another stone bridge.

A stone bridge in Reigo de Ambros.


Nancy standing near a church in Reigo de Ambros.
We decided that we didn’t want to stay in Proferrada (a city of over 62,000 with thousand of visitors there to see the World Bike Race) so when we reached the outskirts of the city, we hailed a taxi. He told us that all the roads were closed to motor vehicles because of the race. So we walked into the city, had gelato cones (of course), and watched a bit of the race.

We saw the World Bike Race in Proferrado.


A castle in Proferrado
After walking through a bit more of the town and asking people for directions, we found the Taxi stand. For 12 euros. We avoided walking all the way through the rest of the city and outskirts of the city on a totally paved road. The taxi took us to Componaraya and then we walked 4 more km to Cacabelos (an 18 km walk today).  There were beds available at Albergue La Gallega.

After spinach pasta (and a taste of Steve’s octopus dish), I helped Faiza put our laundry in the washer. Then I promptly fell asleep for about a 90 minute nap.

At dinner I met Barbel and Cristof, a delightful couple who had just met on the Camino.
The plan for today was to walk another 17 or 18 km to Trabadelo. In The morning I received a post from Michelle. I met her before we left Portland. She wrote about a fabulous albergue in Vilafranca del Bierzo. So I changed my plans and said good-bye to Steve and Faiza. Just a 9.5 km. day, but what a fantastic decision. I loved walking with the low fog,
.I love the fog.
Passed through Valtuille de Ariba where I saw this adorable display in the front yard.

I loved the front yard in Valtuillevde Ariba.
I met up with Rose along the way and we decided that I would also make a reservation for her at Albergue Leo.

I can’t resist photographing the stone houses along the way.

I love the stone houses.
I found Albergue Leo. It is a family owned albergue right in the middle of town. Pepe and Merce turned Merce’s parents family home into an Albergue and are running it with their two daughters, Maria and Angela. They also own a hotel in town.  One of their daughters had passed away and they convinced Maria and Angela to move back to Villafranca to be closer to them.  What a delightful family.  We actually have fresh linens on our beds.
There was a small balcony right outside our room.

A great balcony at Albergue Leo in Villafranca.
We relaxed by the fireplace in the living room.

Sitting by a lovely fire in Albergue Leo.
And listened to Pepe play the Spanish guitar.

Pepe played guitar at Albergue Leo.
Life could not be better.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

6 thoughts on “Acebo to Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo

  1. We knew that walking up to 15 miles a day is not easy, especially week after week…you are one remarkable woman and you will carry the Camino in your heart and soul forever. With my next new knee scheduled in 2.5 weeks, I am envious. Talked to a lady a few weeks ago who already has two new knees and her goal is to do 100 miles of the Camino.


    • A joyfulness comes through in you messages, Nancy. You must be exhausted after walking, but you rebound! A Portland friend of my brother’s is also walking the Camino. Mark Berry, if your paths should cross.


  2. May you have MANY, MANY more steps remaining in your legs every day. And, keystrokes in your fingertips because I am enjoying your blog so much. You are walking for all of us!


  3. Hi Nancy, Your meticulous preparations which I have observed are paying off! Good for you! I’m delighted to hear that you are having so many wonderful experiences. Warm greetings from PDX. Christine


  4. You are amazing Nancy Panitch!!!

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Nancy, I love the “Spirit” you express and feel happiness that this experience is filled with joy for you.


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