Monday was a lazy day – just 17 km, a lot of it downhill as we approached and entered Ponferrada. Weather was mixed with scattered showers, cloud and sun.
The large municipal albergue was a little way off the route we took into the city so we used that as an excuse to stay the night in a hotel again.
We decided to step up the challenge slightly so we did 25 km yesterday and again today. That involves about 7 hours, including a 30 minute break with boots off (as illustrated), and much dawdling.
Last night we stayed in a pilgrim albergue (more what we would call a hostel) but with a private room since only top bunks were left in the cheaper rooms. Tonight we are doing higher end accommodation again since prices are quite reasonable. at €35 for a bed and breakfast to €50 for a comfortable but not luxurious room. The pilgrim albergues range from €5 per person in a dorm to €12 per person in a 2-person room, but shared bath.
Our legs are tired each day but no injuries or significant problems.
Good news is that yesterday as we rested in the sun in an endless hill of vineyards, we were passed by the Japanese couple that we last saw struggling in the hail and sleet. He seemed to have a walking disability and we couldn’t imagine that they could have gotten much further that evening. Turns out they took a taxi to the next town that night. Here they are in the photo.
I am developing some deep thoughts about the difference between a walking vacation and a pilgrimage (even a non-religious one) but those reflections will have to wait until the end of this trip.