Ponteferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

Apr 25. Day 29. 25 km. Departed 0740 hours, arrived 1415 hours.

Today’s post will be more about the Camino.

The reason is the walk out of Ponteferrada to Pieros (17.4km away) is along paved roads, sidewalks etc. Just after Pieros is a turn off into the countryside. Some pilgrims continued alongside the main roads. Yesterday’s descent on rocky and stony trails may have taken a toll. The uneven terrain and trying to control gravity forces exerts immense stress on one’s feet. Each foot comprises 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments which all have to seamlessly work together to provide support, balance and mobility.

We did spot some interesting religious and cultural highlights that interested us during this first 17.4km, which led to meaningful conversations.Many, if not all pilgrims, seek to gain something from their Camino experience. It could be something specific that they begin their Camino with. Or it could be nebulous and unknown, and left to unfold as their Camino progresses.

As one passes vineyards, it’s apparent the vineyard owners have to trim and prune their trees to stimulate growth. Is that a (hidden) learning for our Camino? Has the daily simplicity of Life on the Camino revealed what needs to be pruned from our pre-Camino lifestyles?

It’s amazing how this home owner had ‘molded’ this tree to conform to the decoration plan in mind.

If Man can mold living plants and trees to a design/plan, then, molding His thoughts, habits and actions is not insurmountable. If I can identify one or two changes that I already know deep inside, the battle is half won.

We saw this bird flying in a stationery position (not a humming bird). Birds know how to fly with and across the prevailing winds. What do you make of this bizarre flying?

As you saw near the end of the video clip, the bird started flying forwards and downwards. Breakfast perhaps?

We sometimes seem to struggle and not make any progress. This happens in nature too. But perseverance of effort will pay off in the end. Keep heart.

Ermitas or chapels are places where we pause. Clearly, there’s a history behind it. The lamb on top of the bell tower (spotted by Eagle-Eye Joon) was unusual. Further delights were revealed when we lingered at this Chapel of Santa Maria de Compostilla.

A mural of this Chapel’s name.

Two of several wall murals, behind iron fences. Very easy to miss when eyes are forward and walking speed is 5 km per hour or greater.

This post’s featured image of the Virgin Mary is from this Chapel.

The interior of this Iglesia Santa Maria was lovely.

The countryside trail led to a vast vineyards expanse. And a rural village. And more vineyards.

Note the color striations across the ground.

Mountains complement well with vineyards in pictures.

We take notice when home owners take pride in placing some unusual decorations.

I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to live in this home amidst this setting.

Our walk ends with a drizzle into Villafranca del Bierzo. We regard it as blessings from Heaven.

An early night as tomorrow’s walk is 28km.

Bon appetit (#2 on TripAdvisor list). No gambling, just eating!

Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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