Days 22-24 – Camino de Santiago – Molinaseca – Villafranca del Bierzo – O Cebreiro

October 12, 2011

We could tell that we were nearing Galicia because this morning was so incredibly foggy.  We started to ascend and then you could see the layer of fog cloud above the earth – it was really pretty.

We climbed a lot this day – but thank goodness – we were so over the flatness of the Meseta.  We came upon Cruz del Ferro – a very famous cross marker along the camino.  Then we climbed a bit more and came to this cool little rest area.  It had lots of fun signs and mementos and a bar with lots of refreshments for the pilgrims.  At this point we were only 222 km away from Santiago! Almost 3/4 of the way there!

Since we were back up in the mountains, the views were breathtaking and the temps a lot cooler.

We then started a very steep descent, passing through a few pueblos.

Here you can see how rocky the path was.

And we finally arrived to Molinaseca which is a lovely little town.

If we were good on budgeting our money for the day, we treated ourselves to a much deserved drink.

Isn’t this little town pretty!? There were lots of people out swimming in the river.

Many people went on to Ponferrada instead of staying in Molinaseca because its a bigger city.  We set out the next morning and thankfully the sun was up by the time we got there because theres a cool castle there.

This day was pretty flat, a nice break on the feetsies from the day before.  On the right is a structure that is typical in Asturias and Galicia – back in the day they kept their grains and crops in here to protect them from the elements and animals.  Nowadays they are protected by the government.

We started passing through more vineyards and it was cool because apparently it was harvesting time.  So you could see people out in their fields picking grapes and driving truckfuls throughout the towns.

Finally we made it to Villafranca del Bierzo and stayed at the albergue Ave Fenix.

The people at the albergue were super obnoxious so we spent our time walking around the town.

The next day we set out for O Cebreiro.  The day started out easy and flat and we passed through a few towns, which make for good resting points.  In the middle is a funny translation that we saw all throughout this region.  We all know what tapas are – little bites of food that you either get free with your drink – or you order for a table of people to share.  But literally the word tapa means lid in English so these restaurants were serving varied lids, hah!

But then we started to climb…

The houses in this region are so pretty!! Throughout the Meseta, the houses were adobe and falling apart and ugly – but these houses are made of stone and are beautiful!

There are TONS of grasshoppers hopping about while you walk.  When they open, some have blue wings and some have red.  We tried to catch this little guy opening up to get the color but we couldn’t really catch it.

Here is where you officially enter the region of Galicia – where Santiago de Compostela is! Almost there!

We made it to O Cebreiro, a quaint little town that you can thrives off of tourism.  You can also tell by the name that it has Celtic roots.  Actually most of the region does – with weather to match….every morning was foggy and drizzly and blah.  But most afternoons it seemed to burn off and we got pretty pictures once the sun came out.  This town had lots of kitties to love on, I especially made friends with this guy.


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