Camino ~ Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

Villafranca in the distance beyond the Bierzo vineyards

Day 5 … Thursday, 6th August 2015

Feeling really lazy this morning. Took my time to get up, had a full breakfast and contemplated only walking no more than 10km today. Instead I went the full 20km and did it in good time too.

Summer is filled with pilgrims, many are students and teachers. The trail is busy and so are the albergues. Yesterday I had an “un-pilgrim” thought and felt slightly ashamed.

On arriving at the albergue with another 200m to go, I saw another pilgrim catching up with me. Better get in before he did coz it may be the last bed available. How selfish of me right? He may be young but he could be injured.

A pilgrim once told me. In the Camino, you look back for two reasons – to awe at the sunrise and to help someone in need.

This is my 5th day on the Way. It takes about this time to shed off the city mentality.

Also about this time to get comfortable with strangers who become fellow travellers who become friends.

This may sound pretentious but I had a lot of time for reflection and contemplation today. Partly because I took another less travelled route where not a single pilgrim was in sight for miles.

Its funny. Just days ago, I want to make the most of my time in each village or city by visiting the main attractions, learning about the history, talking to people.

Today I just want to make the most of my time doing very little. Checked into this rustic aubergue, ordered all my meals, booked a massage, rejected drinks in town, write this blog and have quiet conversations with the volunteers here.

Joan Yap

Leaving Castillo de los Templarios with Mairead from Ireland, a relatively late start at 7.45am
Having a pilgrim top up – wine and pinchos on scallop shell
Albergue Fenix €5 per bed with free drinks and fruits.
Albergue Fenix €5 per bed with free drinks and fruits.

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