Day 16: Ponferrada to Villafranca (Sept. 25)

True Confessions: Every now and then we stay in a real hotel. Typically in a bigger city, which Ponferrada is. This one is a Marriott property. Downside, no Pilgrim meal included, so we had to wander the town until dinner time. In Spain, that means 8 or 8:30 p.m.!

Today we head for the hills and valleys. The Bierzo Valley wine making district to be specific. Walking through a city is not our favorite thing, but Donna and I thoroughly enjoyed the vineyards. Until we “hit the wall” and were just ready to be done!

Leaving town we discovered an innovative directional sign. Note, too that we are walking right through a suburb. Not all trails lead through a tiny village.
Soon we were in the vineyards. Harvest time for these.
Yes, we sampled a few grapes along the way. The area is famous for the Mecia grape,s, which were very sweet when picked a few. The wine we had later that night was from the bartender’s grandmother’s family winery. (Not this one.) And it was not sweet at all…deep rich purple and yummy.
Woohoo! 300K down and only 200 more to go!
Today marked a special day. It was one year ago that I was bald and celebrating my last chemotherapy treatment. Today I was logging 25K over hills and valleys in Spain. My feet still suffer some neuropathy, and the last 5K or so today had me tender footing my way into the hotel. But “legs up the wall” yoga pose and a good night’s sleep helped a lot.

Tomorrow is the longest, hardest day. It’s 31K, and the last 10 are practically straight uphill, elevation gain 3000+ feet. Gulp.

5 Replies to “Day 16: Ponferrada to Villafranca (Sept. 25)”

  1. You two gals just continue to amaze me! Terri, I can’t imagine how you’re doing this walk with neuropathy! Prayers for strength and endurance in the coming days.

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