Day 8/Sept 19 El Camino/Acebo to Ponferrada

We are in Ponferrada sitting at a Laundromat. We taxied from Acebeo to Molinaseca as the path down the mountain today was to be just as treacherous as yesterday. We had a great breakfast there and relaxed. We then walked the next 7 k or so into Ponferrada. Di did well on the flat surfaces but then we got onto gravel again and that was rough for her.

It was a lovely day with sun and cool temps. We saw 18 Celsius and now it is a bit warmer. (In the mountains yesterday it was probably in the low 40’s F with wind chill.) We left Di sitting in the sun at a Cafe while we did the laundry. It was nice to get to a town, in this case city, early to rest and enjoy. We are staying across from the Knights Templar Castle in Hostel Virgen de la Encinitas which I sent a photo on Facebook. We are touring the castle when the laundry is done.

We got some more euros, vino blanco and tapas while charging phones and iPads and Jonathan showed up around 3:30. He walked our path from yesterday plus today but taxied his pack so made good time. He had better weather in the mountains. No wind and some sun which helped a lot.

I lost my hat somewhere yesterday and I really liked that hat. Now we need to shop for another.

We have been planning out a new Camino in the last hours. Di got to the hotel, walked up the stairs to the room we are sharing and declared exhaustion. I left the room to get something and when I returned she said she could not walk. Her knees are swollen and would not hold her up. She brought one sleeve for one knee and we bought another for the other knee on the way in but the swelling is too much. She ran out of her ibuprofen in the gel caps and nothing else is working. Jonathan is out scouting the farmacia’s for her but so far only the tablet form is found. Her body does not process that form. Jonathan did find a liquid form so will give that a try.

So, new plan. I promised Di before we left that we would stick together so she and I will let the others go on tomorrow and we will taxi to Cacabelos and meet them at a hotel. The goal is to keep Di off her feet as much as possible. She is in good hands with Mary, a Dr. and Jonathan a Nurse Practitioner and all of us who care.

I assured Di it is all Camino, it does not matter how we move. It has all been a joy, even the challenges. To Di’s familia, She is in good spirits, literally and figuratively with her vino blanco. Her only concern is holding the rest of us back. Everyone agrees it is not a problem. And it is true.

Everywhere we are we meet people who are walking the Camino. Many ways and many forms, different start points. Where are you from? When did you start? Buen Camino! Buenos Dias! Hola! Blessings! Are you okay? The locals are so friendly and helpful and in these small towns we are the economy. We meet our fellow pilgrims, share stories and move on. Then we meet again further along and everyone is thrilled, like meeting an old friend or at least familiar greeting. We met a couple from Florida while dong laundry. They fled the hurricane then returned quickly to check on things, get their luggage for the Camino and dashed off to catch their flight to Spain. They are doing it in sections and started this time in Leon as did we. They are carrying their packs but set up every hotel before they left so they need to keep on schedule but always have a bed ready.

I realize I forgot to write about Cruz de Ferro, a very important place on the Camino. More about that later.

9:30 pm we toured the castle and had a festive dinner in the square at a pizzeria.

Di is doing much better. She was able to walk the half block with a walking stick and the pain meds and ibuprofen are doing the trick. We will evaluate as we go but the plan now is for the three to leave tomorrow morning and leave their bags to taxi with us at noon for a hotel named San Francisco above the San Francisco Monastery in Villafranca del Bierzo. We shall see how Di is doing after another couple of days but when I look at the elevation map we have many hills to cross. It does not look promising.

Gracias amigos for your love and care in reading and comments. Enough for


Diane Hughes approves this message.

PS. Leo , Di sends a huge thank you for the Penetrex cream. It was a blessing until the inflammation got out of control. She would not have gotten this far without it.

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