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Day 24: Hiking My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

August 12, 2018

The terrain of the Camino de Santiago was relatively flat today before a climb tomorrow. Part of the trail was walking through cities and part was walking through a lot of vineyards. Hopefully, you can see the vineyards, rolling hills, and mountains in the background in the photo I am posting.

I was slow in starting my day today. I normally like to start walking by around 6:30 AM but today it was closer to 8:00 AM. The nice thing about starting later is that I ran into a nice family of four—dad, mom, daughter, and son. All of us were looking for a yellow arrow to tell us which way to turn. We found it and started walking.

But as we started walking I was pleasantly surprised to see their daughter on my left. She actually surprised me. But I had a nice conversation with her and learned they were from Italy. They were starting their walk to Santiago and were planning on being there in two weeks.

I am guessing the daughter was 14 years old and the son was 12. The daughter spoke the best English since she spent a semester in England. She told me she wanted to be a psychologist and then she said maybe a dancer. But she thought it would be difficult to break into the dance profession.

I saw them again when I stopped for a breakfast break as they walked by. And I ran into them later when they stopped for a break. I hope I get to see them tomorrow.

I also spent some time with Allande today. I have seen him frequently but have never had a chance to talk with him. He is walking with Karl from Germany, Jade from Ireland, Michael from Ireland, and Christin from Germany. Their group was larger 10 days ago but these five have been able to stick together. And tomorrow may be the last day I see them since some of them need to leave Santiago on Sunday, August 19th. Therefore, they need to start covering more distance each day.

Anyway, I learned that Allande is French and grew up in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port which is the official beginning point for The Way of Saint James. He grew up seeing pilgrims begin their walk on the Camino on a regular basis. And it turns out that Allande has biked this trail once and is walking it for the third time. He loves biking but confessed walking is better since you have time to reflect, think, and talk to others. I will miss seeing these five people if tomorrow is the last day I get to see them.

But the good news is that I may be rejoining part of the original Fellowship in three days. As you may recall, some are behind me, some are ahead of me, and some had to leave. But it looks like I may be gaining on Astrid and Julia and may see them on the 15th. It would be cool if I could walk into Santiago with them.

And for your information, I walked 15.47 miles from Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo today.

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See additional photos from August 12th below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. This is a view of Ponferrada in the morning.

  2. This was a view along the trail.

  3. This was one of the first markers I saw like this pointing pilgrims in the right direction.

  4. This is a view from the villagee of Plaza del Concego. You will notice the stork and his nest.

  5. This is a stork in its nest along the trail.

  6. This was one of the first markers I saw like this pointing pilgrims in the right direction.

  7. This is a marker along the trail in Plaza Campo with a cross in the background.

  8. This is the cross in the background on the previous photo.

  9. This was a door to a small building next to the marker and cross in the previous photo. I loved the images of pilgrims in the metal door.

  10. This is another structure in Plaza Campo.

  11. This is a view in the town of Camponaraya.

  12. This is a vew of the trail I walked today.

  13. This is a view of the trail going through the town of Cacabelos.

  14. A building in the town of Cacabelos.

  15. This is a view of a street in Cacabelos where I had breakfast that day.

  16. I know it wasn't special but I sort of liked this image of a pilgrim and "arrow marker" outside of a store in Cacabelos.

  17. This is a church on the outskirts of Cacabelos.

  18. This is a view along the trail I walked today.

  19. This is a view of the trail I walked today.

  20. This is a view along the trail I walked today.

  21. This is a view along the trail I walked today.

  22. This is a view along the trail I walked today.

  23. This is view of the door to a church in Villafranca del Bierzo.

  24. Another church in Villafranca del Bierzo.

  25. I liked the shells that were attached to the railing beside the walkway/road in Villafranca del Bierzo.

  26. This is a pilgrim statue in Villafranca del Bierzo.

  27. This is a view of Villafranca del Bierzo.

  28. This is a view of Villafranca del Bierzo.

  29. This is a view of Villafranca del Bierzo.

  30. This is a road/bridge for cars and pedestrians to cross a river in Villafranca del Bierzo.

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