The google maps van caught a few pilgrims on the road: http://goo.gl/maps/EWvqt
Here's a section of the valley near Trabadelo. That's the camino on the left: http://goo.gl/maps/Dp51C
Entry 45, January 8th, 2012
We got a little lost coming out of Ponferrada. Now I think we're on the old camino, a long straight avenue lined with shops for 12km to Cacabelos. This reminds me of camino rule #5: sometimes there are mountains. The corollary is that sometimes there are not mountains . . . the point is that at times the camino is extraordinary and at times it is as ordinary as a shopping mall. The Buddha is in the fumes of a motorcycle engine as surely as it is in the breeze on top of a mountain.
“We” is the the Master and me; an interesting duo. Not much talking today, since he doesn't speak English or Spanish.
12:30 and we are in Cacabelos – the Master walks a strong pace even though he has a shorter stride (and thirty more years!) than I do. I can keep up just fine, but only because of 45 days on the road.
It wasn't all shops, thank goodness. There was some farmland as well. Still very foggy, and it will probably remain so for the rest of the day. We don't start climbing again until tomorrow.
Haha, the Master is not letting me pay for anything. Let's see if I can get dinner . . .
Expenses, Day 45
Dinner + Breakfast shopping: 10.40
Trip Total: 1029.74
34 kilometers today. Whew! I feel good. It was not rushed – the terrain was just so perfect out of Ponferrada that it would have been a shame not to spend the entire day out in it. After Villafranca de Bierza in particular it was very nice – we've followed a river up the valley for more than 10km now. It is very much like West Virginia in late fall – naked trees dripping in the mist and broken blocks of granite lying in the riverbed. The old road, the camino, the highway, and the river are all wound together. The freeway feels like a ponderous dinosaur, slowly pushing through the terrain and paying us no heed due to our tiny size.
We're on the edge of the León province now. Kwang-sik and Wan Woo were supposed to show up here, but I don't know where they are. Kwang-sik's backpack is here and Won Woo has been texting Master, but that's all I know. Master says we meet here at 9.
Two Columbian guys have joined us here, Javier and (can't remember). They've lived in Ponferrada for the past two years working in a wind turbine factory, but business is slow right now. It's their first day.
Nice albergue, nice little town hidden in the mountains . . . I'm ready to get some decent sleep.