Where do I begin? 

It has been a while since I have had internet, so I will do my best to recreate the past..

When we last spoke, our hero, your’s truly, was waiting to have dinner in Ruitelán… dinner was nice, the hosts were entertaining, the music was good, and all 3 courses were excellent..

   
    
    
 
Early to bed, read a bit, and zonked off  at about 9 pm, before anyone else was in the room. Absolutely  the coldest sleeping situation yet, I was so cold that I would not even reach up to get another blanket which I knew was on the empty bunk above me..

In the morning, I decided to walk with Kim, a friend who had showed up at my alburgue slightly before dinner. When I had last seen her, we were walking out of Astorga . She had subsequently developed leg problems, and had to rest a few days in Ponferrada, where she had rented a  bike to ease up on her leg… 

 
The normal walk from Ruitelán to O’Cebreiro would normally be about 8.6 km , on a path, uphill. Since Kim had a bike to ride/push, we opted to take the road ( the gray line) which is a bit longer. But we soon found out we were taking the wrong road,and were actually on the red road, the n-vi highway , which led away from our intended destination of O’Cebreiro, so we also had to take that gray road , uphill, to get where we wanted..it was considerably longer than expected , but it was a nice walk…

Pics from that walk… 

    
    
    

    
    
    

    
   
And Finally into O’Cebreiro.. A picturesque little village with a great view and a lot of giftshops and where cocacola and wine and bread cost twice as much as anywhere else on the Camino.. 

   
    
   
The alburgue was big and cramped and cold, but adequate. They say that the character of the alburgues change in Galicia, i find myself hoping this is not typical. Otherwise, hotels and Casas Rural may be in the cards…

Speaking if cards, on Saturday morning i pick

  
Something to ponder over my beautiful trek to…………………………………………….Triacastela 

   
  

   
    
   
< insert more pics here, Jay>

                                                         

I finally worked up the nerve to take a picture of Noemie’s graffiti. She had been littering the entire camino from St. Jean PDP along the whole Camino Frances, and it was really bothering me. That all changed, as i was walking out of Molinseca several days ago; there were few waymarkers

                                             
I get into Triacastela shortly before 3, and get a bed which later in the day become hard to find. I try to shower, just a trickle of cold water.. & I go out for a decent dinner,barely adequate beverages, and great conversation with a Jeremy, a friend  from the great state of California.

& I did find a roll of scotch tape and mended my book, which was in bad shape.. 

 
Oh yes, last night was also characterized by obnoxious people in my bunk room. This one guy watched me pack my bag while sitting on the floor while he kept his shaving kit on a chair snuggled right up against his lower bunk. 

Todays card….

  
Looks familiar….

  
More to come… Stay tuned

Reluctantly left Alburgue Leo and walked somewhere else…

I must say, i really liked the Leo. I had a pasta dinner with some fellow pilgrims, and zonked out 10ishly..

Unfortunately, had a brazen farter in the room, and I realized that all the hulabaloo about snoring is way overplayed…

Walked alone all day, from Villafranca del Bierzo to Ruitelán, only about 16.3 k . I sarted 9ish, and finished 2ish..Staying in an alburgue that was given good reviews for the vegetarian food, nut i am still perplexed about the spanish definition of vegetarian. Are tuna and pork fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, or herbs? 

The walk itself, although much of the time cozied up against a major roadway, was actually pretty nice because it was also running along the Rio Valcarce most of the way…

   
    
   
    
 

 
   
    
  
  

    

  

  

  

   

    
    
    
    
    
   
Can’t wait for dinnner..

  

Ponferrada, Templar Castle and on to Villafranca..good stuff

Since the last post, a lot of exciting things have happened .. I Was directed to a supermarcado and purchased tofu, hummus , celery ,soy sauce,  garlic & wine.Then I went back to the alburgue and consumed all of the hummus and half the celery, took a nap , and went off to see the Templar Castle. It is pretty cool, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, I would recommend it… 

    
    
    
    
  I know i am in Spain, not France( or England?) , but these thoughts would not escape me http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7zbWNznbs  
 After the castle, I cooked up and gobbled down the tofu, and then took a walk around the historic part of the city, and had a nice time doing it….

Then I went back to my alburgue, and said goodnight to my 3 Korean roommates. They nodded, and I nodded off.

This morning, I woke up…assisted by the hospitaliers who ran amok at 6:23 am screaming ” buenos dias. .. Good Morning” and fliking on the lights. I took the hint and woke up. I packed, dressed, and had the rest of the celery and some peanut butter for breakfast. At 7:18, I was walking out to parts unknown. I did not intend to be walking to parts unknown, but the darkness made us  ( i was walking with a nice young canadian lady) miss the waymarker and we ended up walking the equivalent of Transit Road for 7-8 k . No pics of that little side trip.. Oh wait…. Looks like Duane Paddock may have ripped off his logo grom some small used car dealership in suburban Ponferrada.. 

  

  

Then , a nice walk into Villafranca..

   

  

  

  

  

  


   

  

  

  

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  I have ended up at the Alburgue Leo.. An extremely nice place to stay for 10€ per night, and am currently sitting on a back terrace, enjoying a 1.86€ bottle of wine I hauled 26k from Ponferrada…

 And looking up at the sky.. 

 It is a very nice day to be on the Way of St. James…. 

ps.. Todays card was the …. 

    
   

El Acebo > Ponferrada

   
 Another nice morning walk ( seems a pattern is arisen), it was drizzling and the ground was wet from some strong rain last night, so I flipped back and forth between trails and roads.. 

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
  
 
    
  
Made pretty good time, the plan is to visit the Templar Castle thos afternoon

Rabanal> El Acebo

I had a great stay in Rabanal, vespers @ 7pm, but passed on the 10:30 pilgrim blessing…..the alburgue that I ended up at was not even in the Brierley guide, but it was 5€, good strong wifi, bottom bunk.. I had dinner ( lentil soup) at the restaurant next door, and i was asked if i woild make corrections to the english version of their brochure/webpage etc. I spent about an hour helping them out, and got a free glass of wine.. Dont be concerned, i was much more attentive to grammer/spelling/punctuation than i am on this bloggy thing , which i am doing on my phone, generally very impatiently due to unsatisfactory wifi.

The day started off well, except there were 6 people in my room and 2 of them were banging around with headlights on from 3 am getting ready for the next days walk. I am normally very cool with that, but i awoke at 7:30 and was out the door before they were.. 

The walk was rainy, and wearing a fleece and rain jacket and poncho, i was hot and sweaty on the top, and lacking rain pants, my pant legs were drenched and sticking to my legs. The scenery was beautiful today, and the minor dampness discomfort made me feel a lot more pilgrimy as I climbed some pretty steep trails towards La Cruz de Ferro to drop off a few rocks, say a few prayers , and meditate on the camino…. 

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
O Wendy had asked me to drop off the little rock, apparently it was dropped off on the right day…

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
  I almost walked by this place, it blended into the landscape…  
    
    Does anybody have any ideas what this sigh is trying to say?…….
    
    
    
I am staying at a nice, clean , modern alburgue in El Acebo, going to eat the pilgrim dinner, hit the sack early and walk in the rain early tomorrow morning….

oh yes, todays card was also a 9, the 9 of wands…

  
 It is a very interesting card, and perfect for today….

Hasta luego !