Friday, November 13, 2009
Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
It was a long walk, mostly along paved roads, so my feet were really hurting and and I changed into my sandals for the last stretch into Villafranca. The Albergue was very crowded, but I still managed to get a bottom bunk on the top floor in a very, very crowded room. There was barely room to get in between the bunk-beds, they were so close together. In my dorm room there was a group of teenagers on a tour - they were German, and at first I must admit I was a bit irritated, because they were, of course, having fun, playing cards and music, and just horsing around. I was tired and beat, so I really had no patience for this, but after resting a bit, and getting to know a couple of them, and they were actually a really nice bunch of kids, it was just my state of mind at the time, combined with the crowded conditions and my aching body!
I walked in to the lovely Plaza Major after my shower, and found an Internet cafe and later a nice, outdoor restaurant where Danish Lars was sitting along with several other pilgrims I had met in Ponferrada. They invited me to join them, and I ended up having dinner there with Lars, and a Canadian and a German pilgrim. Later we were joined by a Brazilian girl I had met on the Camino during the day, as we took turns passing each other. We had a really nice evening, and I learned a lot about the Camino from Lars, who was walking it for the 3rd time! He had started further up in France - in Le Puy, so that's quite a distance extra - about 500 km, I think!