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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Passed through Valtuille de Ariba where I saw this adorable display in the front yard.
I can’t resist photographing the stone houses along the way.
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.