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Published: October 16th 2016
It's early and I'm listening to the 3 Tenors; John above, Rollo, a spanish guy to my left, and Toby, a young German above him. It's 6am, alarm is set for 6.30, but I'd get up now except it's a bit early. I've been awake for a while. I say if you don't like the noise, get a private room. It's all part of the 'experience '.
Today is about 24 kms and pretty flat from memory. A bit of breakfast here first would be good, otherwise I will attack my little stash in my pack. I'm going to reset the alarm and see if I can get another 1/2 hours sleep in. This is live folks ! OMG,
Today we left Ponferrada in the dark, nothing new there, and followed the rio Sil until we entered a rather expensive looking outer suburb. It's nice walking in the dark as your sense of sound and smell are highlighted and you experience things that you would otherwise miss. The sounds of the river and the bird life around it a pleasant change from early traffic.
After stopping for breakfast at Colombrianos, we moved into the open spaces where I
noticed the mountains became less visible, the further we walked; rain is coming! I stopped and did the poncho/ pack cover thing while most people seemed to think it wouldn't happen; it did!
The rain continued on and off all day, so rather than derobe ( a word?) each time, I flung my poncho back like a superman cape. I continued until I reached Villafranca as I had no idea what weather was coming. I passed the bar where we ordered Sue a cab last time ( and I left my sticks and had to run back about 300metres to retrieve them), and just set a good pace until I turned off the road to pass through a lovely wine growing region . As soon as I left the road I was hit with the strong smell of fermenting grapes and this smell followed me part of the way to Villafranca .This part of the day, with no rain, compensated for all the rain and walking along roads.
I descended into Villafranca at 12.30 and waited about 40 minutes in the Plaza Mayor until John arrived. I chatted to Olga, a canadian lady who had a tendon issue
....the rain came later.
that she said she received from a not so 'relaxation massage'. Better off staying away from that stuff.
Tonight I'll go to the Plaza and have a meal before getting an early night. Hopefully we will stay at Herrerías tomorrow night and enjoy a vegetarian meal at the albergue there. I will try to book the horses again but I think with the crowds walking, we may be walking up the mountain to O'Cebreiro before continuing to Triacastela. That's a 30km day so hopefully the horses are available
We are staying at the Albergue Piedra, the same place as last time. I've put laundry in to be done so it will be fresh and dry shortly. Handwashing is OK for a while but a machine wash is far more thorough, especially if done by someone else. We'll have breakfast in the morning and start walking at about 7.15, hopefully.
Well , I might go and find John who went into town a while ago; Plaza Mayor will be a starting point, adios.
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