26 km

Acebo- Riego de Ambros- Molinaseca- Campo- Ponferrada – Columbrianos – Fuentes Nueves – Camponaraya


Carrying on downhill.  The views are stunning but the uneven terrain makes it hard on tired feet.

It took a while for me to take the first steps of the journey on the Camino last year; I had waited 2 years since I had first decided to go, I guess.  And this time, I wasn’t sure that we were actually going until the night before we left (hence the last minute packing and the poor choice of socks!)   People say that when the time is right,  you find yourself taking this journey and right now, I know this is true.  I need this journey, I need this walk.

My emotional life has been swirling around me in a violent fog and I need to breathe, to allow pain, physical and emotional to come, to flood me, to drain from me.  And having the challenge of a daily walk, enduring the pain of blisters and sore feet and sore hips and thighs,  teaches me something, and quietens the other thoughts that shroud my days.

But maybe the Camino is just a really long walk?

This hostel is called The Way.  Outside, there is a photo of the owner meeting Martin Sheen during filming.

And it was hard walk today.  We walked downhill in the darkness, not too difficult on the tarmac but when we swapped this for the trail, it was rocky and uneven and required great care, even in the light of the head torches.

Once it was light, we found we were still on difficult, uneven paths – and this, combined with the downhills pushing my toes against the front of my boot was creating more blisters.  I could almost feel the skin peeling away and the blood seeping into the space.

The villages we passed through today were delightful , quaint houses with flower filled balconies.  We stopped for breakfast in Molinaseca; I couldn’t get enough of it, happily taking pictures of it from every angle!

The villages with narrow streets and flower lined balconies were very picturesque

Ponferrada was a great tourist haven but we didn’t stop and carried on walking along the river with a little bit of shade.  It is a place worth stopping in but we were always hurrying on against the heat of the day.  Maybe one day I will come back and explore these places in a more leisurely way.  I like to think that I will.

From Ponferrada, we carried onto Compostilla for a well deserved ice cream and then finally stopped at Camponaraya, too exhuasted to continue on for another 4.5 km that we had planned.



A little way before Ponferrada, there are helpful tourist guides who offer help and assistance on your journey.  Things like that, a guide on the side of a trail, is why I love the Camino so much.