Pass the vino
Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
270Trip End May 27, 2010
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Villa Martin (15kms outside of Ponferrada)
Cloudy and cool
This morning began at 0730 when we set off from Rabanal. We were 2 of the late stragglers, the first clicks of walking sticks went by the tent at about 0500. Some of these walkers are doing serious mileage, but are they enjoying it? Maybe that's not the point.
The first 15 kms was up, however, nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. It was a steady climb and of course we were high enough (started at approx 800 mtrs but the pass was 1500 mtrs) and it was early enough for it to be quite cool. We were on the road ,not with the walkers, and to be honest I now prefer it that way. There are LOTS of pilgrims now and I assume it will only get busier.
There are lots of different Camino routes. We are doing the Camino de Frances, but if you look at the maps there are many more. There are certain points (Leon for example) where lots of pilgrims join the Camino de Frances (still the most popular because of the refugios along the way) and the number of people (walkers and cyclists) increases substantially. Add to that the fact that to get your Compostella (your certificate to say you've completed the Camino) you only have to complete the last 100 kms. We are noticing already lots of Spanish people walking without packs, also cyclists that have support vehicles.
We were thinking of staying in Ponferrada but we arrived early (1230) and the refugio didn't open till 1400. We weren't sure if we could camp and we couldn't be arsed to hang around to find out, so we cycled on to Villa Martin. What we did notice were loads of young, fit cyclists who had cycled the same distance that we had, hanging around waiting for the refugio to open. It ain't a big place, so it would have been pretty full.
It actually threatened rain this afternoon - whoopydoo! Didn't happen though.
Phrases most often used: * - a lot
Oooh, it feels cold this morning (Lynne)
No it doesn't (Dave)
Have you seen my glasses? (Dave)**
How far is it now? (Lynne) *
No, you do the shopping I'll watch the bikes (both) *
Pass me the wine (both) **
Do you want some more bread? (Dave)
Is it supposed to buzz and hurt your finger like that when you plug it in? (Lynne)
Where's the toothpaste? (Dave)
Where's the shower stuff? (Dave)
I can't get my leg over (Lynne)
You might have to help me here (Lynne)
I think I might have to push (Lynne)
I have to stop now my bits hurt (Lynne)
I have to stop now my shoulder hurts (Lynne)
Update 2100 hrs
Located an unlocked wifi connection at our tent but the signal was crap, soooooooo, decided it must belong to the campsite (seeing as we are as close to the river and not much else that you can get), so here we are at the bar but guess what, nothing. Still, there is one consolation, they sell alcohol here. Two large brandies with a Pepsi and ice on the side (they just don't understand the whole brandy and coke thing) and we're doing just fine. Dave's cranking up to doing some Spanish and I'm feeling tired (again). When we arrived today I just flopped in the tent, next thing I knew it was 6pm. I so rarely do that, I must have needed it.