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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Molinaseca & Ponferrada

Everyone was a bit pooped today from the long, hot, rocky trail from Rabanal. The 7 of us who walked all the way decided to walk the last 5km, from Riego de Ambros, on the road as we were weary of rocks and shale. It was hot but it was a relief to walk on a smooth surface and we think it was a little shorter than the trail.
Zuretha, Theresa and Janette - Rabanal
Bell and Jill
On the way to to the Cruz de Ferro
Bell, Janette, Theresa, Zuretha, Syl and Jill and the Cruz de Ferro


Rocky path to el Acebo
Ponferrada in the far distance
Memorial to a fallen peregrina outside el Acebo
We walked on the road for the last ± 5km to Molinaseca

Slate rooftops of Molinaseca

Peregrinos bridge into the little village

Site of the most important gold mining in the Roman Empire.  22km from Ponferrada

This morning our taxis collected 7 of us from Molinaseca and took us to Las Medulas - a spectacular landscape created during the most important gold mining era in the Roman Empire (2000 years ago) and now a World Heritage Site about 22km from Ponferrada. Two of our group decided to walk to Ponferrada instead.


We had a wonderful stay in an old palace - La Casa del Reloj - in Molinaseca last night.Before we left Molinaseca this morning Bell and I were lucky to be given a guided tour of the private part of the 'Palace' by our host. It was very grand. Tons of antiques, art works, statues, carpets, a private chapel - with her grandfather's embroidered vestments hanging in a cupboard - and a fabulous refectory which she called her Bodegas. She also owns the park across the road. Very special place to stay.

 We are now in Ponferrada (Pons Ferrata or Iron bridge) a town with a masssive fortified Templar castle .
We were dropped off at the Hotel Temple, a very smart, 4-star hotel about 10 minutes from the Templar Castle.
Ponferrada once boasted at least 10 pilgrim shelters. Now there is only one, the Albergue San Nicolas de Flue that sleeps 200 people.
Tomorrow we walk ± 22km - depending on which guide book you believe! - to Villafranca del Bierzo. We are all tanned and looking fit!


3 comments:

Annie said...

It's so good to hear from you! Sounds like you're having a wonderful time! I can't wait to see "The Palace!" Also glad to hear everyone is healthy and happy and doing well.

Kathy said...

Hello all
Am so jealous! I wanted a tan when we went in June, and didn't get one. Am so pleased to hear it's all going well, and that you are all 'looking' fit - hoping you are all feeling fit too? Enjoy the walk to Villafranca. Your accommodation also sounds like it has really been special and 'different'. What memories you are all going to go home with.
Kathy

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that you are all doing well and enjoying yourselves, the places you are visiting sound exciting - looking forward to seeing many pictures!
love
Margie, August & Renée