Day 31-October 13, 2017
Camponaraya to villafranca del Bierzo, Spain
I am now into Galician wine country, so once again I am walking by vineyards. Unfortunately, all the grapes have been harvested, so no opportunity to sample the juicy fruit. I guess I will have to sample them from the bottle. I did pass by a few wineries that offered tours.
The day was mostly uneventful, except for the last section of road before reaching the outskirts of Villafranca where I had to walk on the highway for a good 5km and practically jump into the ditch when I would see oncoming traffic coming from up the road. I finally reached Villafranca del Bierzo and my Albergue just as. It open. Being the first there, I had any bed I wanted. I found the most out of the way bed in this 20+ bed dorm.
My accommodation was located just at the end of the town at the top of a pretty steep hill. I decided to dine in the restaurant in the hotel across the street rather than walk another km or so back downtown to the restaurant area and then walk back uphill later that evening. And honestly, my feet is still tender from the rugged downhill climb from the last two days.
Day 32-October 14, 2017
Villafranca del Bierzo to La Faba, Spain
I discovered I had to climb one mountain to leave town, and the road out of town appears to be impressively steep. The climb looked like it would be about 2 hours and once I reached the top it was back down the other side, and then after a short walk in a valley roadway I set out to climb the same height on another mountain. My stop for the day; La Faba. This slope was relentless and I was sweating profusely. One thing came to mind as I fought my way up. This slope is similar to the Pyrenees but my legs feel fine. I assume I am in better shape than I was 30 days ago. The temperature was about 84, but the exertion required was heavy. At least I wasn’t cold.
My progress up this path continued for about 2 hours. Go ahead, say I’m slow….I dare you. This was tough going!
Again the temperature is hot, everyone on these steep grades are exhausted. At one point I was going sideways. One pole extended as far down as possible giving support while my feet looked for secure rocks.
By the way, my feet are in danger of being voted “the prettiest feet on the Camino”. I have had no blisters and I have not had any visible problems at all. My daily foot care regime consists of dry socks twice as day as needed. Morning or evening, seeing the conditions of some people’s feet will bring tears to your eyes….literally.
When I was about at the end of my tolerance I arrived at my planned destination.
La Faba has two places to stay. One is a modern renovated space on the edge of town and the other is an adjacent building to the church. The church grounds had a peaceful and solitude surroundings. It was an easy choice for me. The official at the church are volunteers from Germany. When I arrived I was shown my bed in the adjoining building. The building was several hundred years old.
My dinner is vegetarian and is the best meal have had since starting the Camino. I keep saying that but the food just keeps getting better.
Tomorrow I go further up the mountain again….and the forecast, possible rain.
(At least there shouldn‘t be any flies…..)