It’s the morning of Camino de Santiago day #5 and we pack cookies purchased in a quaint little cookie shop last night in Pamplona.
We notice the drier appearance of the terrain on the flat plains on the plateau of central Spain which is referred to as the Meseta. I have read that this section is challenging in a way that is more mental than physical, but can also be beastly hot in August. Since we don’t have enough time to walk this section, we are fast-forwarding by taking a bus today to Ponferrada, Spain. Maybe this would be a good region to tour on a bicycle rather than walking?
Our bus arrives in Ponferrada, which is surrounded by mountains and is the capitol city of El Bierzo in the province of Leon, Spain. In 1178, Ferdinand II of Leon donated the city to the Templar order for protecting pilgrims on the Way of St. James who passed through El Bierzo on their road to Santiago de Compostela. The castle hosted the Knights Templar’s Grand Master of Castille. The Templars were only able to enjoy the use of this fortress for about twenty years before the order was disbanded and its properties confiscated. ~ Wikipedia
Seems like a lot of work for just twenty years.
Even though we spent the day on a bus, we still seem to have an appetite and find a cute little bar/restaurant with a personable owner. It appears as though the locals frequent this establishment, so that should be a good sign.
The mural above brightens the street near our hostel as we dream of the adventures that lie ahead. We will be taking a short bus ride in the morning to Villafranca del Bierzo where we will start walking again. Oh, it will feel so good to drink in the surroundings and just walk again…