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.
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.
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.
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.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.