We notice a very cool mural across the street from the bus station loading area. Translation: Human race is the only.
We are boarding a bus for a 25 kilometer (about 16.5 miles) ride to Villafranca del Bierzo where we will start walking again.
We immediately find a fork in the road and aren’t sure of the route. Hmmm…. this way? …or that way?
We ask some friendly locals who cheerfully guided us through town, down steps, past the church and point us to the road on the other side of town. This route joined up with the other road so either one would have been fine, but you never know and it doesn’t hurt to ask. This one was more interesting due to the challenge of the language barrier, and interesting local character . They did not push us to tour the church for a donation, so it appears they are just plain friendly folks. A smile is a smile in any language.Our path is now alongside the highway, but our group has split up. Randy, Liz and Bryon take the harder path, Dragonte, that winds up and around the mountainous area.
Looking back over Villafranca del Bierzo
The path is incredibly steep, Randy’s legs are taxed, as if saying “That’s what you get for taking a day off.”
Back in the medieval times this was the path taken to avoid robbers and thieves. The government then decided to make it a toll road and charged travelers that chose this route. Some may say highway robbery was involved with both routes.
We are happy to report that there were no toll booths for either route today.
Their views are spectacular both far away and close-up as they admire this walking stick insect.
Meanwhile, Joan and I are wandering through little villages in the Valcarce Valley, where there is work to do.
I have a wheelbarrow similar to that one at home except mine doesn’t have a rubber tire. I still use mine, too.
I don’t think this albergue is open today.
We meet young families that are transporting their kids in a stroller and behind a bike. We visit often throughout the next few days with the parents of a one year old from Germany using the stroller. Walking the Camino with little kids has got to be a challenge.
Amazingly, our two groups meet up right about where the path comes together again. What timing.
Randy’s motto most days.
15 kilometers later we arrive at our destination. (9.3 miles, but closer to 10 miles for the challenging route) Liz has booked beds ahead so we don’t have to worry about the bed race.
A-a-a-h-h-h-h… home, sweet, home and the welcome mat is out.
We come from a land down under… Why is this song by the Australian group, Men at Work, running through my head right now?