May 9, 2016. Monday Walked 14 miles Left at 8 am, arrived at 5 pm
Today started with sunny skies and the promise of. A delightful day. Most of the day was spent on hard surfaces. I took the long way around the city of Ponferrada and walked right into spring. Like coming down the mountain the day before, flowers were everywhere. Except for a few people I spent the entire day alone photographing flowers. I will share just a sampling here of my walk into Ponferrada.
A. from Romania saw me taking pictures of flowers and came up to me and started talking to meand showed me some of his photographs – very good macros! He then went on to tell me about his girlfriend. She was in Romania , not on the Camino with him and she had been wanting to break up with him. He said for days he was broken hearted, could hardly eat or sleep. He loved her so much, but after several years she did not love him in the same way. Yesterday at Cruz de Ferro, he left her picture at the cross and said good bye to her. This morning he woke up with an appetite, joy in his heart and was like me,, enjoying the sunshine and photographing the beautiful spring. He said a happy good bye t me as he hurried on his way.
The 12thcentury Templar castle wasn’t opened to the public today. Ponferrada came under the protection of the. Templar Order by decree of King Fernando II in 1178. The official presence in Ponferrada was outlawed in 1312 and disbanded by the Church, fearful of their increasing power and esoteric traditions.
The rest of the day was walking a long a river, walking along country roads and little villages. I ran into Mary and Sofia as they were having their lunch and they gave me some of their strawberries. It started raining mid day and rained off and on the rest of the day. I took a few more breaks, but just kept walking and walknig and walking. The last two hours I walked with a lovely couple from Perth, Austrailia, about my age and we all admitted we were slowing down and it was getting harder not easier.
Eventually I arrived at Cacabellos, with my shins hurting too familiar to shin splints.I went to the farmacia and got some medicine , enjoyed my private room, took a shower, used a blow dryer for the first time since I left San Dieg, and caught up on my laundry. I saw J on the was to the farmacia and shared laundry with Mary and Sofia. I was a lovely day in spite of the shin splints with all the flowers, my fellow pilgrims, the kind Spanish citizens and the lovely countryside. I am a grateful pelegrina.