July 17, 2008

Day 73: 25 June- Molinaseca to Cacabelos

In Molinaseca we were warned that the albergue in Cacabelos often got full early with all the people leaving from Ponferrada being joined by those from Molinaseca. And they had details of a route that cut several kms off the total distance for the day. At this stage of the Camino I was wanting to reach Santiago before summer got too hot... so I opted for no stop in Ponferrada except a breakfast one, and the shortcut. So, Ponferrada also has to go on the list for more exploration another time when I am walking a shorter Camino than this one was......
We did still manage to walk past the castle though. Then got confused a bit later. What I hadn't understood about the shortcut was that it took us on an entirely different main road from where the Camino would have taken us, an excruciatingly busy road that kept going through urban sprawl, and with no pilgrim route markers. Luckily, D had more than enough Spanish to check directions, and he discovered that we were on the route that most pilgrims took, and that we would rejoin the other route quite a few kms down a long straight busy road.

Eventually we did emerge from the urban sprawl and found there were only 8 more kms to Cacabelos. The last bit of the walk became more country-fied, and we passed many vineyards. In the end, we were amongst the earliest arrivals in the albergue there, shortly after it opened. And it never filled up at all...... There were more two-bed berths in the style of Azofra here, and I was sharing with a young South African woman I had seen a few times. (But there wasn't any ventilation, so we slept all night with our door open.) Across the road from the albergue was an old people's home, and during the day there were often people on chairs here just watching all the activity as the pilgrim traffic went by....
I had a delicious meal for lunch in one of the restaurants in town, before relaxing for the siesta. And this was another albergue where you could book in for a leg massage from a professional masseur. My leg muscles were very tight and my ankles were sore. (I know, I know, I need to learn some proper stretches if I am going to ever do such a walk again!) And this massage was wonderful and came at just the right time. It got rid of so much of the tightness in my calf muscles, and let me enjoy the remaining days of walking so much more!

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