Camino de Santiago

Day 36 on the Camino de Santiago: Acebo to Ponferrada

Today is Fiesta Nacional de Espana, and nearly everyone is on holiday. We’ve celebrated by only walking 15 kilometres. 

The terrain was tricky for the first hour and we needed to concentrate on each and every step as we negotiated our way down the rocky track towards Molinaseca.  We encountered a lot of mountain bikers. 

Typical of this morning’s path


Why aren’t they at work, asked John. I didn’t have the answer – I was preoccupied with the business of not getting skittled, as well as keeping an eye out for our way markers. They were few and far between for a while.

No making the wrong turn here

And then in Molinaseca there was no missing them. 

The answer to John’s question came from another walker, someone who was almost skipping along the way. She told us about the National Holiday.

It’s a bit like Waitangi Day – the shops are shut, the buses aren’t running, and the centre of Ponferrada is filled with families eating, drinking, and exploring the many historic sites, particularly the C13th Castle of the Knights Templar.

Crenellations on the battlements of the Templar Castle

Entrance to the castle was free today – on account of the holiday. We spent a hot and happy hour exploring the site, which is a national monument.

The population of Ponferrada is approximately 70,000. Like cities all over the world it has its share of street art.

Street Art in Ponferrada

As to our happy walking companion – why was she skipping? 

My rejected shoes fit her perfectly. So chances are my old shoes will still make it to Santiago – but on someone else’s feet! 
Tomorrow we walk on to Villafranca del Bierzo – about 25 kilometres away.

6 replies »

  1. Regular and visible camino shell/arrow signage a true blessing. It becomes interesting when you see a double arrow on the corner of a house, farm shed or similar – one end directing you left and the other right…yep, flip a coin.

    Liked by 1 person

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