On the road coming out of Ponferrada, there is an extremely steep hill. When I got to the top, another woman offered to take my photo (with my camera – for me). Two shots of the city:my new friend lives in Tennessee, and we explored the day together. More adorable village churches-we found a doorway with iron pilgrims the alters are magnificent. We found a little cafe and split a pizza. It was nice to be with someone. She walks much further than I do, and we parted ways at my albergue. A little “hippy” joint about 3 miles out of Villafranca.
I had an odd couscous vegetarian meal and my stomach doesn’t feel well. Maybe it was the garlic or heavy onions–fitful night with stomach aches. But Villafranca was beautiful. I had to get more money for the next few days and stock my water bottles.I decided to do the very steep climb to the tiny hamlet of Pradela. The path climbs up to a mountain ridge.
When I first headed out of town and up a gentleman tried to stop me and redirect me away from this path. Most pilgrims take the lower flat section, but 3 years ago a woman raved and raved about it, so I decided to take it. LOOK how steep it is!!! The hill never stopped until I reached the village. But I did get the view of Villafranca and the valleys beyond.I met two ladies who didn’t seem fazed in the least with the climb and we all admired the alpine wild flowers.when I finally reached my albergue in the hills, I quickly showered, washed and hung up my clothes and took a nap!
The grandma of the hosts called down for me to take her picture, so I did. She was enjoying watching how I did laundry.I wandered around the village and found a house my husband could remodel.I leave you now with bearded Iris and a few shots of my albergue.
Ohhh what gorgeous scenery ….especially on that hill that you had to go down! Were your brakes on most the way or was it more gradual and winding? Those churches and old buildings just make me gasp with wonder and excitement, as I think how long they have existed for all to see use and wander! I love visiting the cafes, the menus and the places you rest, and your walking partners and new friends! It just makes it all real on this end! Your bravery always astounds me!