Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day # 4 - Ponferrada to Villafranca - 25 kms/ 8 hours

Today was the day I had been awaiting- truly the "Buen camino" that is the ubiquitous greeting both amongst the "peregrinos" as well as the village folk we pass. In part, this was the result of me listening to my intuition & deciding to have my mochila carried by auto bus to the next stop, freeing me to stop, take photos & enjoy the walk. Also, the Camino passed thru numerous small villages with fincas (small farms), vineyards, orchards & beautiful cottages.

I had the chance to speak with villagers along the way & experienced the euphoria I associate with the best travel. Here is a photo of a woman who insisted on giving me tomatoes she picked from her garden (& as the song goes: "only two things that money can't buy: true love & home grown tomatoes")- unbelievably delicious.

This woman was over 90 years old & told me she was "fea" but was actually incredibly beautiful as she stood outside the small church.

I finally arrived at the albergue in Villafranca ( after buying some new walking sandals) at about 6:30 & shared in a meal prepared by the hospitalera of (especially for me, veggie pasta) and spent the rest of the evening drinking red wine with a bunch of Spanish guys (uno muy guapo) doing the Camino por bicicleta while they tried to improve my Spanish without much success. Muy divertido. Up too late, but well worth the missed sleep. Off towards Cebreiro tomorrow.

And a little girl who wanted to pose with her puppy:

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