I have very much enjoyed this region of León, leaving the big city and the grand cathedral behind, and setting out to what first looks like a continuation of the flat meseta but in a day or so begins to climb into the mountains. The landscape is ever changing, interesting and increasingly more beautiful.
The volume of people increase as I walk closer to Santiago. The common chatter is once again on the aches of the body as people adjust to walking.
I saw a map yesterday in Ponferrada, wow! Look how far I’ve come! I’m on the green Camino Francais route, beginning in Saint Jean Pied de Port. Except for the section from Carrión de Los Campos to León, due to getting sick, I’ve walked it all. I’m in tiny Pieros tonight, after Ponferrada, at a very sweet small albergue. Surprising myself, I’ve walked about 512km, or 320 miles, over a 28-day period.
The spectacular castle in Ponferrada is one of the best preserved in all of Spain. It was kept by the Knights Templar for the benefit of the Perigrinos traveling the Camino, as well as later used by regional rulers. I especially enjoyed the Templar library, with perfectly preserved volumes of books over 1000 years old.
(I sit on the castle high wall.)
Walk, walk, walk. It becomes an interesting experience to walk many hours, day after day, now across grape-wine-rowed fields, through seemingly different ancient villages every hour or two. The villages never get old, their personality takes on the region; each one interesting in some way.
I continue to enjoy stopping at each small church that thousands, maybe millions, before me have visited along this Saint James Way. I regularly say a prayer for those who have sponsored my Walk to build a new Temple of Light. I’m continuously inspired to have you all walk with me. My feet carry me; my feet carry you.
Illness took its toll. I’m still coughing and have recognized the need to slow down. Most days I now walk about 18km (11 or 12 miles), and my body enjoys each glorious day without pushing further. I keep a peaceful, happy step.
(Crossing another old Roman bridge.)
(Sign pole marking Camino path today.)
I marvel, despite the daily discipline, that I still find walking across Spain to be a great joy and blessing! Each day brings a deeper calm and deeper inner peace. I personally receive so much! We can all contribute a little bit to world peace in troubled times. Change begins in each heart.
I love hearing from you, comments below.
Walk with me on my Camino! My Walk is raising funds for a new Temple of Light. All donations are tax-deductible, no amount is too small. Many blessings.