June 8, 2011 Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

Left giant Ponferrada albergue to very cold but dry weather and headed on long sidewalk along street with closed shops for several kilometers. Some streets with vacation-looking homes and many cars to avoid, then more long sidewalks to Cacabelos.

Met Joy and Karl who told said that Rocky was in Ponferrada last night. She is now doing camino by car apparently and perhaps will hang out with Joan of Vancouver BC for remainder of camino.

Stopped for tastes of wine at a winery along the road outside Cacabelos. The guidebooks say that if you’re nice the wine and tapas are free, but none of our group apparently qualified. The wine was tasty, though, and this was a welcome stop in the hot sun.

Finished walk to Villafranca and got lost getting to restaurant plaza. Am writing this note in the blowing and cold plaza so may soon move inside. Andreas and Alex are planning to cook at the municipal albergue. Sebastian and Catia at the albergue across the river. I’m at the Parador where Gail and I stayed in 2008.

Sebastian and Catia later join me for dinner, along with Nikki (who ordered a large burger, first we’d seen on a menu). Then joined by Hannes and Pieter of Germany and Austria and enjoyed shots together of arujo. Back to the comfy Parador and an old Paul Newman movie and room service of bocadillo before bed at 23:00.

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