We spend a very enjoyable day in Villafranca being toured around the city by one of Bruce’s colleagues from the European Space Agency, retired. He’s lived in Villafranca for 35 years or so, and it was a great history lesson. We had a nice lunch in the main square and as I was looking around, I noticed a building with a missing wall…and several rooms full of stuff: books, TV’s furniture, clothing, etc. It was like there was an earthquake and the wall collapsed. I asked how long that had been like that, and Jesus told us over 7 years. WHAT? It looks like it just happened. Evidently, they can’t get the owner to deal with it, and the local government doesn’t want to make waves. Hmmm.
We toured the town and went in to several churches where I finally found some candles to physically light. We also went out to the old Roman gold mines. Evidently, ALL the Roman gold came from this mine for about 300 years starting around 25 B.C. You can find more info here. And I posted a video on my instagram @AlHitstheRoad.
Jesus’s wife is a quilter. She has this amazing shop behind their house where she gives lessons and such. It’s called Quilter’s Cabin Patchwork & Quilts. She has some beautiful things. And darned if I forgot to take photos.
We left before sunrise this morning. Sounds early, I know. But it was 8am. And the official sunrise is something like 8:22am. We also had a great breakfast, so we were fueled up and ready to start the LAST WEEK of our Camino de Santiago.
While we had a steady climb all day today, it was along an asphalt road on one side and a mountain stream on the other. It started out with a very light mist, but turned into a beautiful day with a bit of an overcast. Several people were out gathering chestnuts from the trees. Well, not actually from the trees. The hulls pop open and the nuts fall from the trees.
We saw several Shepards as well. Some other sheep, others with cows. We saw one old guy weaving a basket out of reeds. I can only assume he was going to gather chestnuts as well. We have private rooms in our hostel this time with our own bathrooms, which is nice. But I froze to death for the first 2 hours until they finally decided to allow the radiators to come on. So, I tossed a shirt on the radiator in my bedroom, and my towel on the one in my bathroom and then stood in the hot water until I warmed up. The towel was nice and warm, and so was my shirt.
Bill read in Brierley’s Guide that one can rent horses to get up to the top of the pass in about 2 hours. It’s a 2000 foot climb in 7 km, so it’s pretty steep. We have about 19 miles to go tomorrow, so that would be nice…and different. I’ve contacted the guy via email, and I wasn’t convinced we would hear from him. But, he came to the hostel and Bill has arranged it so we will ride for 2 hours to the top of the pass, and then walk the 13 miles down the other side.
Our friend, Silvia, made the trek up the hill yesterday and down the other side today. She texted me and said the hill is tough but doable, and the descent is nothing like the one into Molinaseca. Meaning it’s much easier. So, that puts our minds at ease. Bill was a bit apprehensive about the hills tomorrow. But, between the horse ride and the confirmation from Silvia about the descent all of us are much more comfortable.
13 Oct 2020 ~ 30,000 steps ~ 12.4 miles ~ 60ºF ~ 🌦