Day 25 – Molinaseca to Cacabelos — 25km´s

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I lay awake in bed this morning thinking of Randy and his brother who said goodbye to this life.  I was still amazed at how strong Randy was when he shared the sad news with me.

The albergue had been buzzing with noisy pilgrims getting up and on the move since 5h30.  Just don’t get what the rush is, one has the entire day to walk as well as it only gets dark at 22h00.

07h30 – it was time to get going and before I leaped out of my sleeping bag the significance of the yellow arrow came to me.  The yellow arrows point out the path that the Camino follows.  This is how we found our way from village to village and if it weren’t for them, we would not know which way to go.  I kept feeling that each time I would find an arrow I would regain confidence confirming I am going in the right direction.  It sounds so silly – a simple yellow painted arrow in all shapes, sizes and painted on all kinds of surfaces – but when you don’t see them for a while a level of doubt kicks in on whether you are on the right path and with an exhausted body, sore feet and a 10 kg back pack on your back you definitely don’t want to be on the wrong path going in the wrong direction.  This morning I realized that life is a path, as the saying goes “it is not about the destination but the journey getting there”.  I am so grateful for the person who painted the yellow arrows guiding thousands on the Camino.  I wonder what “arrow” I will follow in life after walking the Camino! I have fallen in love with these dam yellow arrows.

The walk was fairly easy today but my legs and feet took a hammering yesterday with the steep up hill and steep descent which caused major discomfort however I strolled along in true Sparks style (going with the flow and taking it easy) – resting wherever I could find a bit of shade.

My first stop was in Ponferrada,  the restaurant was stunning and the decor was the cutest I had experienced thus far on the Camino. Listening to buddha bar  music right opposite the massive Templar Castle.  The view of the castle was magnificent and the temptation to spend the day there did cross my mind but I had only walked +- 7km.  Half way into breakfast, along came Shereez, Jess and Kristin – was great seeing them after two nights alone.  We enjoyed the rest of breakfast together catching up on Camino stories.

Ponferrada is a city in the province of Leon completely surrounded by mountains and it is the last major city along the Camino before the destination of Santiago.   The Templar Castle covers 16,000 square meters and the order was to protect the pilgrims on the “Way to St James”  (Santiago).

Road leading out of Ponferrada

Cacabelos my stop for the evening is not the greatest of villages and even though Villafranca del Bierzo would have been a better stop over, my feet were telling me that 25km’s for the day was enough.  My feet still hurt and I find myself popping pain killers through out the day!  I have learn to embrace that no one escapes pain on the Camino.  It’s impossible to walk more than two / three days and not notice or feel how your body suffers.  One learns to listen to your body (and your feet) and you adapt, modify your pace and even stop if necessary.  Fortunately there are no rules or distances that must be walked for the day, it is entirely up to you and what you can achieve for day.  The only constraint you are up against is the time you have allowed yourself to walk the 790km.  It is through the pain that I have come to understand the cost of the Camino and it is also how I enjoy finishing each leg of the journey realizing what I have overcome. Although this might sound silly the Camino wouldn’t be the same without the pain.  The transformation is happening…..

Cathedral in Cacabelos

A few frustrations I have picked up thus far – SIESTA between 14h00 and 17h00, goodness it can drive me crazy when you get to a village and everything is closed.  Spainards never seem to be on time, if the sign says open at 17h00 you could easily wait till 17h15.  They also only get going at 10h00 in the morning.  Critical times for a pilgrim is in the morning and afternoons.  Dinner’s rarely served before 8pm, with most Spaniards eating from 10 until midnight. Nothing but bars are open on Sundays. Oh…and if you go to a bar in the morning to get a cafe con leche and a magdalena (sponge cake), you’ll find all the locals drinking whiskey or cognac for breakfast. The bars are completely multipurpose, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with alcoholic drinks.  More importantly, they serve as places where local people go to socialize. Drinking alcohol is very inexpensive with a beer or glass of wine costing only a euro.  Cheaper than buying a coke.

Anyhow frustrations aside, the Albergue was on the premises of the cathedral and only two beds (not bunks) in a room.  (yeah)!!  Luckily Shereez and clan were also spending the night in Cacabelos so we shared a room.  Jess and Shereez decided to have some fun and chill with a few beers the afternoon (maybe till late at night – can’t say for sure I fell asleep)  :0)

I spent the afternoon strolling around the town to find an internet cafe as there was no wi-fi at the albergue.  Not much to share – town pretty average and nothing exciting to see or do.  A little bored today so opted to go to bed early.

On I walk…….

NB – time is flying – day 25 and as per my plan 10 days still to go – eeeep!  I am toooooo excitied about Santiago.

Pics taken today:-

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Shereez and Jess relaxing in Cacabelos

The rooms built around the cathedral in Cacabelos

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Comments
  • Mike

    Hullo. Your bloggs are addictive. Keep them flowing. How many more days to go? Dont rush enjoying the trip so take as long as you can. Very enjoyable reading. Lol Mike N

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