Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 25: Ponferrada - Villafranco de Bierzo (20.9 kms)

We are ready at 7:30am and have a heavy breakfast of bacon and eggs at a cafe across the Ponferrada castle.  We also stop by the Basilica to say some prayers.  The day is again nice and sunny with clear blue skies.

We are on the Camino by 9 am and reach Campanarya at 12 noon. Here we get some trail food (bananas, pears, Snickers bars, chicharon) and have a meal of half a pollo asado and bread at the park.  Along the way, a pilgrim family passes -- they are a French family with 2 kids and 3 donkeys -- they had been to Santiago and were now on the way back to France.

We cannot resist stopping at a stand along the trail under some shady trees offering zumo naranja natural or fresh squeezed orange juice in exchange for donations.  It is so good!  A group of 8 American pilgrims from Florida also stop for some juice and chat a bit with us.  Onwards to Cacabelos where we see Joe,  an Irishman we met earlier on, taking advantage of the sun and lounging at a cafe on the plaza.  John, one of the Americans we had met earlier,  treat us to a beer.  I bring out the chicharon/pork cracklings I got earlier -- perfect pulutan.

We continue on through a gravel track across hills and vineyards until we reach Villefranco de Bierzo at 5:30 pm. We stay at the Albergue de Piedra, a nice and clean albergue. Another long day.

Dinner is a pilgrim menu at a hotel across the road. When we come back to the albergue, someone breaks the news that the Boston Marathon was bombed. We could hardly believe it -- a terrible, terrible thing. 

Ponferrada Castle
Ponferrada Basilica






Villefranca de Bierzo

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