19kms to Sarria on an overcast day. I wasn’t sure about walking today with the steep ascents and descents but it wasn’t as bad as I expected and having such beautiful paths to walk always made things seem easier. The road was slippery at first but it changed to the regular country road pathways where we had to stop for herds of cows. [Read more…]
Leaving O’Cebriero the entire village was cloaked in cloud although by the time I finished breakfast, the cloud was lifting and the views looking down the valley were amazing.
The Brierley Bible made no mention of any uphill climbs today so I was less than impressed and was doing some serious cursing an every incline I came across. I did enough of that shit yesterday, I thought I was in for a cruisy day today. But at least it wasn’t raining, just the occasional light spit however it was overcast all day. [Read more…]
Las Herrerias to O’Cebriero
Today has been my biggest concern for the entire Camino. I have a 685m ascent over 9kms (split up by three villages, not quite evenly apart). I was lying in bed and wondering what the noise was and realised it could only be one thing…..rain. The one thing I didn’t want today because it’s known to be slippery in the wet.
I got talking to Jim (USA) coming out of Las Herrerias and he’d ridden the Camino a few years back and he said that once we get off the road and onto the path, if it’s too slippery we can get back onto the road later on although it would be a bit longer. [Read more…]
Villafranca to Las Herrerias
Today’s 22kms was overcast, light rain and humid and it took me 1.5 hours to walk the first 5kms….a few photo stops but not that many. Stopped in Pereje for a bocadillo as the lady where I was staying was too busy chatting to the guys behind me to get me some toast and besides I really wanted to get going. Walking alongside the road but between a concrete barrier and the river wasn’t all bad, except for those drivers who feel the need to toot at pilgrims. If their aim is to scare the shit out me, then mission accomplished. If it’s meant to be a friendly gesture, then epic fail. [Read more…]
Molinaseca to Cacabelos
Today was meant to be a manageable 22kms through Ponferrada to Cacabelos and I knew time was going to be an issue because I really wanted to go to the castle at Ponferrada and it didn’t open until 10am. I inadvertently took the alternate route into town and then missed a turn off in the old town so wasn’t off to a good start. Checked out the Basilica de la Encina and by the time I got to the castle, it was already very late morning and I spent quite a while there. [Read more…]
Acebo to Molinaseca
Daylight savings finished last night which means its light that bit earlier but also darker earlier too, so less time in the afternoon to go exploring.
Leaving El Acebo I had to tackle the rest of the downhill that I started yesterday. Felt good today after the emotions of yesterday and the scenery was fabulous, it’s so nice to see trees again. Started out walking on the road which was relief from the rocks which requires a fair amount of concentration and care.
The village of Riego de Ambros was just gorgeous and it took me ages to get through it as I kept stopping to make photos. The Chapel of San Sebastian was so simple and pretty and there was a ‘fixer-upper’ for sale just across the road. It would great to do up one of these old buildings into a small boutique B&B for pilgrims. [Read more…]
Astorga to Rabanal
I was worried about today being hard with some big hills and it being 21kms in the heat…again but needn’t have been. There were a couple of steep sections but nothing outrageous and if anything it felt easier than yesterday.
Started out early with Leonie and we stopped on the very outskirts of Astorga at Ecce Homo (hermitage), a lovely simple old church and shortly after we watched the sunrise over the city.
Leon to Villavente
Not in a good head space this morning after getting an email about Dad. The walk out Leon isn’t particularly pretty, it’s through the less affluent areas. That’s one of the things about doing a walk like this, you get to see the good and the bad. I tend to refer to it as the affluent and the effluent – the good and the shitty. But in the effluent area in amongst a plethora of deserted shops was a random church that happened to be open, so I took the opportunity to sit for a while. [Read more…]
Bericanos to Mansilla de las Mulas
It was a cold morning (only 2°) but without the wind, it felt much warmer although I’ve had to drag out the beanie and wear a long sleeved shirt under my tshirt. Such a shame I look like a bank robber in a beanie. Today was down for another 26kms so caught a taxi to El Burgo Ranero cutting off 7kms and making it a manageable 19km day. From there it was a 13kms stretch on nothingness to Reliegos and the last 5kms were hard as my feet really started to hurt. The path wasn’t pleasant to walk on (lots of bitsy gravel) so took to the road, which isn’t usually the preferred option.
I’m calling this photo “Field of Dreams?”
After putting the question to Facebook about whether I should finish the blogs, I got a resounding yes and now I’ve got my work cut out for me. I hadn’t realised how far behind I was.
At the beginning of the trip I mentioned that I wasn’t happy with my photos and thank you to everyone who paid me some very lovely compliments (I hadn’t been fishing for them but thanks all the same). I really wasn’t happy with them…..at the start. Photography is like most things, in that if you aren’t using the skill, you lose it and I had barely picked up my camera in the past year. There are days when I’ve only made a few photos (seriously, like half a dozen but those days are rare) and on those days I may not post any photos (but those are rare days). Mostly, I have made dozens and on the odd occasion well over a hundred photos and I choose my favourites to show you. Sometimes I’ll post a photo that while not a great shot, gives you some idea of what it’s like over here. At the end of the day, I have to be happy with my photos, I love it if you all love them too but I need to confident that what I’m putting out to world is my best work. I’ve enjoyed this opportunity to hone my craft and I’m definitely seeing improvements. Being able to make photos on a daily basis for such an extended period of times has been priceless.