Day 28 (to Cacabelos): … ain’t no valley low enough …

The Gregorian chants bid us all …

2014-05-01 07.08.48
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… good morning once again. After breakfast its onwards once more … downhill. The Way goes through charming mountain villages … dotted with houses featuring Arabic-style balconies.
The first village is followed by quite steep downhill and rocky path. The second village s at the foot of the mountain. Although it appears its some kind of a holiday today, a lot of bars are open. There is even an open store, a welcome opportunity to replenish my supplies (fruit and energy bars).

Next up … a loooong approach to Ponferada. Quite a few people are taking a stroll, cycling or jogging. There is even a group of enthusiasts on a small airfield playing with their remotely controlled model airplanes.

Soon after finally reaching the actual houses in the city I come across a spectacularly preserved Templar castle … the major local attraction. Templar symbols are everywhere, including Camino sellos.
After managing to stumble on a open specialized hiking store where I replaced my pole tips, I got lost again … mistakenly assuming the Camino follows the path to the city center. Fortunately a kind gent pointed me in the right direction.
Through a park next to the river … then over suburbs that stretch for quite a while. When I finally reached the meadows … next village was practically behind the next corner. A couple of benches with a fountain next to the church were practically calling me to take a break (not that it took much persuading). Further on an Austrian couple … also tracking Philippe’s verses along the Way.

The path continues through first villages that I saw stretching alongside the road. Most others I’ve seen so far were tightly clustered … I guess for easier defense back in the day.

At one of my breaks I meet up with Paolo the bearded Italian … he originally planned to stay for the day at Ponferada but he missed the turn for the albergue and didn’t feel like heading back.
Yet another town … an overpass over the highway … some vineyards and s small forest with a small bench especially for pilgrims.

At the approaches to Cacabelos I meet another pair of Russians … Olga and Andrey. The town is holding a major fiesta today … Cruz de Mayo and a bunch cars are parked alongside the road heading to town center. I manage to pass through a river of people strolling along the main street filled with outdoor stalls, until I finally managed to limp into the albergue around 17:40. Today’s route was a tad longer than usual.

Rooms with two beds are sett in a half-circle around the church. My roommate is Oliver from Sweden who’s been lugging (and playing) ukulele on his Camino. I also caatch up with Ginny and the German ladies I met few days ago.
After a standard routine (showers and laundry) I decided to soak my feet in a bucket filled with cold water … what a balmy feeling. Olga finds it so interesting that she asks for my permission to take a photo … in Russia the custom is to use hot water … well, to each climate its own.
Side note: I should have been doing this regularly, its a great way to rest your feet after a hard day (as if there is any other kind) of walking.

To my …. hmmm, lets call it surprise … I discovered my next door neighbor is Italian gent from the other night … the one with nocturnal … hmmm, lets call it serenades.
Oh what joy.

That was day no. 28.

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