Day 5 - Santa Catalina to Casabelos, España, October 5, 2018
Today was a tiring day: 63.08 km with a big climb and a huge descent of 15 km!
We started out earlier than usual and the first thing I saw a man making and selling Saint James walking sticks. I haven't seen anyone walking with one-
The light is so much nicer early in the morning-
The highway was sort of rough, not with potholes but sways and not a smooth surface so it was slow going. The walkers were to the right of the highway-
with similar bell towers
The country side is beautiful and we climbed up quite a way-
It is only recently, and thanks to the pilgrims, that Foncebedon has become inhabited again. The buildings are made of field stone and the street is a rough mess-
Finally we reached the highest point called la Cruz de Ferro-
where you're supposed to place a stone that you've brought from home. Mine is from a vase that we got when Nico died. It's the brown polished one in the middle. People leave all kinds of things around the Cruz-
Pretty flowers, sort of like crocuses grow nearby-
The views were pretty nice after the long trek up-
We were warned that the descent to Molinaseca was going to be a fast 15 km and it was. I had my brakes on all the way-
Finally we made it to Ponferrada where there is a castle from the Knights of the Templar, built in the 14th century. The Knights of the Templar were a Catholic military order, begun in 1119 and around until 1312. Their job was to protect the Christian pilgrims along the many pilgrimage trails.
The entrance had a drawbridge over the moat-
There's a walking tour inside which is pretty much a waste of time if you've been to other castles because it's almost like once you've seen one, you've seen them all. I'm starting to think like that about quite a few things. This is one of the towers-
A tower and a wall-
We carried on and finally made it to Cacabelos where we had paella. I'm not a big rice fan but it's a Spanish dish so thought I should have it once-
We're staying in an albergue that is built around a church. Each room has two beds with storage-
There are about 65 rooms and they're never full - usually around 70% since there are so many albergues these days.
There are also washing facilities which is something very necessary for hot sweaty pilgrims-
Tomorrow we're going to ship our panniers to Triacastela where we hope to be spending the night. We have a huge climb tomorrow so it will be much easier without the extra weight. I'm exhausted so hoping for a great sleep!