Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias

If I didn't know better, I would say that someone picked me up this morning and dropped me back into Kentucky. Once I left the well-manicured city of Villafranca, the trail followed the N-VI highway for quite a distance, jogging off only to enter some of the small cities on the way. Although it is usually not fun to follow a road, this one was not too bad. First of all, they had built a large sidewalk along the road separated by a substantial crash barrier. Secondly, the sidewalk followed the River Valcarce and the whole area was lined with trees, most of them just like the ones we have at home such as poplars, maples, elms, and even locust. Everything was in full bloom and green and I know that is what home must look like right now.
There are not many pictures to share today because you know what the scenery looks like. Just a few to confirm my observations. (Photos 1, 2, 3) We also went through several tiny villages, which also resembled Kentucky in a sad way. These communities lacked anything distinctive and even their old churches were falling into disrepair. Each city had a bar or small shop, but most appeared to be struggling to survive.
I ended the day after 14 miles at Las Herrerias at a beautiful Casa Rural called El Capricho de Josana. It was absolutely charming and resembled a place we once stayed in North Carolina called The High Hampton Inn.(photo 4) There was one other very nice small hotel, but there was nothing else in the city, not even a store. I ate dinner with Bente from Denmark, whom I had eaten with 2 nights ago in Ponferrada. The hotel dining room was all glass and looked out onto a pasture. (Photo 5)It was quite elegant but they served a pilgrim meal for 12€. Of course, with wine.

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