We walked for an hour and a half in the dark this morning to a city called Ponferrada. Its claim to fame, I suppose, is this castle built in the 12th century for the Knights of Templar:
From there we walked another four and a half hours mostly on pavement through many towns. Pavement is tough on the legs, so I was glad when we finally got on a dirt farm road that went through vineyards. We saw people harvesting the grapes by hand, and right after that came upon this man making wine. He offered us a taste. Muy rico.
By the time we got to Cacabelos, we were ready to stop. The municipal albergue is located in an old stone church at the far end of town. It’s like a motel with doors to each room on the outside. Each room has only two beds, two lockers for backpacks, a table and one wall of stone. Very unique. Right off the rooms there is a courtyard with laundry sinks, clotheslines and tables and chairs. And something else that no other albergue has had…children. There are 3 from Alaska, 6, 8 and 12 years old, hiking the Camino with their parents.
When we check into albergues, we present our American passports to register. Then Enrique starts talking Spanish, which really confuses people. (One person commented that his Spanish was really good.) So then they start speaking Spanish and looking at me, thinking that I understand what they’re saying, until Enrique turns to me to translate. Then they’re not sure what language to use. As someone asked me at dinner the other night,”How did you meet a Spaniard in Reno?”😊