Day 33 – Riego de Ambros to Camponaraya 21km

Forgot to mention the beautiful sunset I finally got to see last night, around 10.30pm. Our room faced the mountains and as the sun set, it warmed up our cold room.

Also, found this nice map of the Camino Frances on the wall in the home.

After an early start in the cold, we descended the hills to reach Molinaseca, a pretty town by the river. As you enter the town, is a church that had to have the front door covered in metal plates as the farmers that visited would take splinters of the door when they came to pray.

Metal plated door

Slate mining is one of the major industries of the region and is used widely for roofing. The last 3 villages we passed while coming down from Cruz de Ferro and the next few would have all their homes and establishments with slate roofs- such a pretty sight from up high.

The next town on our way, is the last big town before Santiago – Ponferrada, the second largest town in the region of Leon. It’s a large town with a lot of Templar architecture, a castle, churches and a modern city with ugly skyscrapers. We stopped here for breakfast and were happy to bump into our friends again…Chris and Resh and Ash.

In 1178, Ferdinand II of Leon donated the city to the Templar order for protecting the pilgrims on their road to Santiago

We continued our walk towards to Camponaraya. Now it was a flat walk towards our destination. We stopped in a tiny village to change from our shoes to sandals. The best place to stop is always the space outside church, as there are always benches, shade and a water source for pilgrims to use.

We saw a gentleman in his own chair with books on the bench and church music playing on his phone or maybe a player. He greeted us and continued doing what he was doing. He was making notes, reading the Bible and seemed to be preparing a sermon. He had cornered the sunniest space in that square.

We reached Camponaraya and after a great lunch of lamb stew and paella & Resh and Ash for company, we headed to our home for the night.

We came out in the evening to walk along the high street, but some fruit, etc. A couple of German ladies who we’d seen on many days, passed us looking really worried. It was around 6pm and they didn’t have a place to stay & they were too tired to walk 6km to the next town. We pulled up the Camino Ninja app on John’s phone and after a few calls we were able to find 2 beds for them! The app is a blessing for people on The Way with detailed lists of places to stay in every town and village, a rating, the pricing etc.

After our good deed for the day, we went to bed. The Camino has taught us so much (another post just for that) but the greatest lesson is empathy! We’re all in this together!

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