Camino, Days 26 & 27

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Pontaferada has a castle.
Pontaferada has a castle.

Day 26, Ponferrada to Pieros, 18k
April 26, 2016
Last night was one of the nicest group of hostel volunteers. Anne (from Ohio) joined us yesterday and we three shared a room.
I’m really showing signs of wearing down–too tired to eat dinner last night. I’ve gotten some chalky anti-acid tablets (Euro Tums) and using them to settle my stomach in the mornings. I also have a blister on the second toe on my right foot. I don’t know what was rubbing and didn’t even know it was there until I too off my sock. It looks like my toe is trying to grow another toe!
Linkin (from Denmark) joined us for this leg of the journey. We met her at an earlier hostel. We all four stayed at El Serbal y la Luna, and excellent albergue with very good vegetarian food. Since there was no wifi, I showered, hand washed a few items and took a two hour nap before dinner. Everyone seemed surprised, but I had no trouble falling asleep again after dinner.

Wisteria and lilacs are in bloom.
Wisteria and lilacs are in bloom.
Ponferrada castle was closed yesterday because it was Monday and we just couldn't wait 2hours for it to open.
Ponferrada castle was closed yesterday because it was Monday and we just couldn’t wait 2hours for it to open.

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More storks
More storks
Who knew bagpipes were one of the traditional instruments here?
Who knew bagpipes were one of the traditional instruments here?
Linkin and Tim at beer o'clock!
Linkin and Tim at beer o’clock!

Day 27, Pieros to la Portela de Valcarce, 21k
April 27, 2016
A tough day–mostly flat, but almost entirely road/sidewalk walking. Those hard surfaces really took it out on all off us and after our showers we are all flat on our backs. Anne got a private room. She is a light sleeper and suffering from a bad nighttime cough.

The grapevines are waking up!
The grapevines are waking up!

The first 7k this morning were especially beautiful with many vineyards. The grapevines are in perfect rows and the severely pruned plants are just beginning to show some green leaves. This is the Bierzo area, a micro-climate with excellent wines. The next 7 were completely along the highway, but had the advantage of being relatively flat, following a river that had cut a path between substantial hills. One of the alternative routes would have taken us straight up those hills. Not me! Did I mention that my original trail name was Flatlander? The last 5k began the assent of what will be out last major hill, O’Cebreiro, which we face tomorrow. It’s about a 1,000 meter climb (3,000feet) and I’m not looking forward to it!

The buen Camino burro!
The buen Camino burro!

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On the plus side, we’ve dropped below the 200k mark–a bit over 100miles left to do. Since I don’t have to be in Madrid until the week of May 15, that gives me plenty of time to get to Santiago and take a bus to see Finisterra.

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A castle that wasn't even on my map.
A castle that wasn’t even on my map.
We see a lot of wind and solar power as in this photo.
We see a lot of wind and solar power as in this photo.
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Beth

I'm a professional vagabond. I quit my cubical job in January 2014. Since then, I've hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Camino, and taught English in Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I'm exploring the world and you can come too!

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