At a small plaza, I sat next to a fountain with a statue of who I believed was St. James in the middle of the pool. The Coca-Cola delivery van parked across from me; I raised my Coke Light to the driver, and he smiled. From Page 152, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days. If you have read my book, you’ll know that I had a diet cola or two during my walk along the French Way.
Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago, in the chapter, Day 15: Wild Spanish Lavender. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons). On my last post, Valley Of Broom And Spanish Lavender, Camino De Santiago, I focused on the flowers as I descended the mountain valley. The trail ended at the highway and ahead, was the small town of Molinaseca. The Capilla de la Virgen de las Augustias is on the right.
The Río Meruelo and the 17th century Iglesia de San Nicolas de Bari.
I was glad to have a break from the wet trails, and looked forward to some flatter ground. After Molinaseca, there wouldn’t much more than small hills for the remainder of the day. I was also excited to walk along another ancient stone bridge. This is the seven arch Bridge of the Pilgrims.
The streets of Molinaseca were quiet during the late morning. The town was first mentioned in the 12th century, and it has always been important to the Camino as a welcomed break after the descent from the mountains. The town’s website calls Molinaseca an “Oasis,” but I’m not sure I would go that far. It was clean, and has bars and shops for those in need of a little food or refreshment.
I had my break at this plaza on the edge of the town before walking along the highway toward the city of Ponferrada.
Vineyards appeared and it was obvious the climate was different from the previous day.
The walk along the highway ended, and the Camino veered toward the left.
I hadn’t seen poppies since before Astorga and stopped here for a quick break. I enjoy taking photos of flowers and rock walls, even if there are a few weeds present.
I welcomed the changing landscape as I followed the fertile Bierzo Valley.
I wrote on page 152, “The hamlet of Campo was deserted, except for a black cat crossing the road ahead. Nothing unlucky or eventful happened, and I continued…”
After leaving Campo, the Camino followed this long, straight stretch. I didn’t know much about Ponferrada, but had looked forward to castle, and getting some food and supplies. Ponferrada is in the distance, on the right.
Although it may not seem like it from this angle, there was a bit of a steep climb to reach the peak of the bridge over the Río Boeza.
Okay, not as steep as the climb in the mountains the previous day.
I must say, the waymarking in Ponferrada and its outskirts was excellent and among the best in the cities along the Camino Francés or the Camino Del Norte. You would have to try hard to get lost.
I hope you enjoyed this post as I will stop here, just before I visited one of my highlights along the French Way, the Ponferrada Castle. On my next post, My Visit to the Ponferrada Castle, On The Camino De Santiago, I’ll focus only on the magnificent castle. Please join me
If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.