Camino de Santiago – Day 20
Walked from: Riego de Ambrós
Walked to: Cacabelos
Date: 22 October 2017
Today looked unpromising on my maps. Quite a lot of urban sprawl to work through, and not a whole lot of building free countryside to adventure in. And yet… it was beautiful.
Woke up in the lovely hostel in Riego de Ambrós and was toasty warm. Right up until the moment when I had to extract myself from my sleeping bag/blanket ensconced bunk. Bloody hell, it was COLD. A brisk but beautiful dawn walk (and remember, dawn here at the moment means an 8.20am start) into the pretty tourist village of Molinaseca for breakfast warmed me up a bit but it took until the centre of Ponferrada (castle, other old historically important stuff, blah blah) some 13km after I left the hostel – before I was willing to risk taking any of my layers off. And I was wearing a lot of them.
The villages on the outskirts of Ponferrada were in some ways like the valleys in South Wales; small, tightly packed houses opening out directly into the road, a strong sense of local community that didn’t necessarily feel immediately welcoming to me, as a tourist, passing through… and just like the valleys, these areas were surrounded by spectacular hills on all sides, reminding us of the beauty of our wider surroundings. The walk through the autumn-hued vineyards and surrounding countryside as I approached Cacabelos, where I’m staying tonight, was one of the most beautiful parts of the entire Camino so far. I can also report that the local wine, which I enjoyed sampling, was pretty darn good. Hic… 😁