Doug and Dave walk the Camino de Santiago
Day 3, Saturday, April 14, 2007
Acebo -to- Ponferrada
Distance travelled today: 15.7 km, 9.8 mi Total distance walked: 54.1 km, 33.6 mi Distance to Santiago: 216.9 km, 134.8 mi
On the left is a memorial to a pilgrim bicyclist who was killed by a car just outside Acebo.
"A Heinrich Krause, Peregrino, 13-VIII-87", not the last of many memorials we saw
to pilgrims who died attempting to reach Santiago. R.I.P.
On the right, Doug stands before the sign leading into Riego de Ambrós.
Coming out of Riego de Ambrós, we walked past a beautiful grove of giant, sweet
chestnut trees (castañas) which we were to find all along the Camino from this point on.
Doug crosses the medieval bridge in Puente de Peregrinos where we met our new British
friends from Worth Abbey, Sussex for coffee. More on them later.
A very nice pilgrim statue and fountain stands near the town of Molinaseca.
Between Molinaseca and Ponferrada the warmer valley countryside is filled with
vineyards, providing grapes for the great red wines of León. The white blossomed
fruit trees and flowers also dotted the spring landscape.
On the left, another memorial to a pilgrim who died on the Camino;
"Pilgrim, P. McCarty, Born 1.927, Died in Saint James Way, 2.005, R.I.P."
(note: periods used on plaque in place of commas)
On the right, our first view of Ponferrada, the largest city before Santiago.
Sheep grazing in field near Ponferrada and fruit tree blossoms.
The beautiful Albergue San Nicolás de Flüe became our home for the night in Ponferrada.
We got here around 2:30 in the afternoon, along with some other German pilgrims, before
it opened, so we kicked back and waited. Doug took a nap in the warm sunshine on the lawn.
We walked up into town to see the Castillo de los Templarios (Knights Templar Castle).
Note the juxtaposition of a medieval castle and modern crane; the castle was being repaired!
Wisteria, common in this region, grows up a wall in old Ponferrada.
Children play on a statue of St. Francis in the Plaza Virgen de la Encina.
The Basílica de la Encina, behind the statue, and bell tower on right photo
was also being repaired so we were not able to see inside.
A miracle occured here in 1553
On the left is a popular cafe where Dave had some coffee and ice cream while Doug was napping.
On the right, Doug stands between two priests, Fr. James on left, and Fr. Alex on right from
the Benedictine Monestary of Worth Abbey in Crawley, Sussex, England.
The Worth Abbey group in the Plaza Ayuntamiento, including a statue of a popular local icon.
We became good friends with this group of fine people. We traveled together for several
days and enjoyed several nice meals together.
The photo on the left has, from left-to-right, John, Rosemary, icon, Alex,
Jenny, James, and Sue, John's wife.
The photo on the right, taken by Alex, has from left-to-right,
John, Jenny, Dave, icon, Rosemary, Sue, James and Doug.
Home page for Abbey in Sussex, England
Worth Abbey Outreach Program in Peru
Alex spent a lot of time in Peru helping the poor. Any contribution you would like to
make on the website would be appreciated. Alex's fluent Spanish sure helped us on the Camino!
Compass, for those possibly interested in a vocation within the Catholic Church
Alex introduced us to the COMPASS website. It is a "general purpose" vocation
website; not specific to Franciscans, Benedictines, Jesuits, etc.. Great idea!
On Saturday night, we attended Mass at the Convent of the Conception. At the end of Mass,
they called all the pilgrims up to the front for a blessing. Very moving.