Today started grey and stayed that way. The first section of the walk was to the large town of Ponferrada, 8 km from our start point and all on road, albeit on very quiet roads with almost no traffic. But it was not a charming walk, although we walked through a charming village.
We stopped at Ponferrada for breakfast and ordered bacon and eggs, which arrived cooked perfectly and was accompanied by two glasses of zumo natural. Delicious!
It wasn’t a very nice walk out of the town through commercial and then farming areas and I was quite tired. This may have been due to the fact that I had very little sleep last night. It was very late by the time I had finished the day’s blog and posted it and I didn’t get to bed until 11:30 pm and was then not sufficiently relaxed to sleep. I hardly slept at all.
I was beginning to feel that I had been a bit cocky yesterday, boasting about how well I walked and now I was getting my come-uppance. However I plodded on for a total of 23 km before we stopped again in a bar and had a beer and crisps.
There remained 8 km to walk and when we set off we soon came to very different scenery. Field after field of vines and a good track to walk on. There are also a lot of cherry orchards in this area, with fruit forming, although a long way off being ready to eat. Which reminds me that I really want to go to the Alfarnate cherry fiesta this year, which should be some time at the end of June. The cherries we get in Cómpeta are so delicious that we eat mounds of them every year.
It seemed bliss after the start of the day and my spirits lifted as I took in the surroundings. I plugged into some good music and strode on, eventually passing everyone in sight – except of course for Ella – but then I was stopping to take photos.
The last 8 km flew by and we arrived in the town of Villafranca del Bierzo, a very pretty sizeable place. We have reserved beds in an albergue and when we are taken to our room we find we are sharing with two guys from the States and a lovely couple from Aus and have a bathroom just for us with a power shower. The most difficult thing I have done today is turn off the shower after a wonderful ten minutes of luxury.
So, now I don’t know if I am superwoman who had an bad start to the day, or if I am truly affected by my surroundings. Maybe it will take a few more days to find out!