Friday, June 10, 2011

Villafranca (friday)


I´ve just arrived in Villafranca del Bierzo after a 25km walk that was flatish, with the odd hill to keep one focussed! I had a number of special pilgrim ´blessings` today that I must tell you about. Blessings like this are what make the camino special. I saw squirrels and a number of small hares today while walking. Secondly, at the tourist iffice in cacebelos I saw the person that works there going in, but noticed that the offices only opened at 10h30 and it was only 10h00. I would have liked a stamp (sello) in my pilgrim passport .. so I suppose i looked upset, when the lady turned around, asked what I wanted and when I expalined in my best spanglish, she offered to get me a stamp quickly. So - one helpful tourist officer. I then decided to walk 500m back into the centre of the village to get some tea, and when I´d paid for that, the lady who served me gave me a piece of Madeira cake to have with the tea. When I offered to pay, she declined saying it was for a pilgrim. So I had a rather nice tea time treat. Then, on a lonely stretch of raod I came to a place where I had to make a decision about which way to go. A number of arrrows pointed R, but were covered with black paint, andf the was one lonely, pale arrow popinting straight. I was a little stuck!..... what does a weary pilgrim do. Just then a cyclist came past and he said he was going straight ... but it was a busy raod with very little verge. Then from literally no where another walker pilgrim af¡rrived, with a map (mapa) and we could consult that and decided on the shorter straight route 1.5km, rather than the off road 4km the round-about detour was. Both routes met up just before Villa franca, so I saved my tired feet from some extra distance. Then .... my last special moemt that actually made me laugh was as I walked into Villafranca. The cobbled roads as one hits the towns ae killers ..... tored feet really comp`lain about cobbles. I had no idea where our accommodation was, but saw a woman selling cherries at the side of the road, so again, tried out my best spanish and aske her if she knew where the place was. She got a funny look in her eyes, and pointed to the place right behind her ... I had arrived. So. One happy pilgrim who has arrived for the night. Going to find out now if the others have arrived, get something to eat and then rest. I walked into the town - its literally like walking down fieldshill, so now I have to go UP UP UP again .... what a pain, but pleased I found an internet cafe.

Pam ... hope you are reading this. thinking of you!


Pam said...

i just love reading your informative blogs. you're doing great...flying through the route!! well done. thanks for thinking of's really tough and so sad to see my sister like she is. she's still on life support but we continue to hope and pray for a miracle. i miss all of you. please send lots of love to syl and the group. with love, pam xxx

Phillippa said...

How wonderful to read about the blessings of your day! I could truly feel the spirit of the Camino and could imagine the wonder of discovery at all those special moments. I send each of you lots of love, and the sweetest blessings, especially to my beloved friend Eugenie who walks with you. From an icey Johannesburg - Phillippa xxxx

unadara said...

I am enjoying this blog so much and all the experienced wisdom I get from your daily posts. The cold seems to be an issue for a lot of walkers this year. People wearing all their clothes at night too! I loved the "flakey" is that like a Cadbury's flake here in Ireland, ripples of chocolate laid out in a long thin bar ? Q ? that steep part sounds like it needs good strong boots, a lot of people say they not bringing "heavy" boots but Mid ? what would your group recommend-I come with dodgy knees/back and always need a stick going down. Walking in Sept this year.Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

You are sure having a great Camino, I am so enjoying reading all about it.
Take care, love, Marion

Joan said...

I am really enjoying my daily Camino Blog fix. Thanks Kathy for keeping us up to date