We made a decision last night, along with Silvia, to skip the urban hiking thru the beginning of Ponferada and take a taxi. It would have been a 19 mile day, and we were still wiped out from the hell of yesterday. So, we did just that, and had the taxi drop us off in front of the Templar Castle. It didn’t open until 10am, so we all had breakfast. Silvia went off to the church service at 9am and we told her we’d meet her in the castle.
The entrance to the castle looks like Excalibur in Las Vegas. It’s and interesting castle to walk around in, because the grounds are big, but it’s really quite small. There are two parts to the castle, the original Templar part, and then the newer (1310 built) castle. They had the old castle shut down for renovations, so we really only saw the “new” part where today they use it for meetings and such.
Getting inside was a bit of an ordeal. We had to give a name and telephone number for tracing. We had to gel up, and then they tried to take our temperature, but the gun wasn’t working. So we had to stand there for 10 minutes until they found a new gun that worked. 🙄
Silvia told us that she was going to start walking and maybe see us in Villafranca. We took a taxi to the outskirts of town and ended up cutting our walk to 10 miles. Nothing is worse than walking thru the industrial areas of a city.
We are back in wine country. And with it being autumn, the colors of all the leaves are spectacular. We walked thru old vineyards, and new vineyards. They have tasting rooms in these, so we stopped at one to have lunch. The food is a little different here. Which is a nice change.
We have the next couple of days off. Much needed rest before the last 7 day push to the end. We originally rented an apartment, but it was up 4 flights of stairs and 1 km out of town. So, we decided to go to a hotel in the middle of town near all the restaurants, farmacias, ATMs, and grocery stores. And they will wash AND dry our clothes within 3 hours of us turning it in. We will see about that last part. I don’t think I’ll see my clothes until tomorrow…I hope. Tomorrow is a holiday – Columbus Day – and everything is closed. So, no shopping for us. Not that I think we are lacking for anything at this point. I may go to the grocery store for some more snacks. I’m out of fruit and snack bars and nuts.
Oh….I found out today on the website we use to plan our day, Gronze, that they are bussing the pilgrims around León to avoid the lockdown. Glad we got out when we did.
11 Oct 2020 ~ 26,250 steps ~ 10.8 miles ~ 65ºF ☀️