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Camino de Santiago 2018

Day 25 Rabanal to Ponferrada

SPAIN | Wednesday, 27 June 2018 | Views [266]

We leave Rabanal at first light as we will climb the Irago Mountains about 465 m. (1,525 ft.) and then drop steeply 925 m. (3,035 ft.). To refresh pilgrims on this difficult leg of the journey there are several fountains with very cold water--some potable, some just for rinsing your dusty pilgrim feet. Jeff found one at sunrise with a basin big enough to bathe. 

 The entrance to Foncebadon, population 13, is marked with this wooden cross in the middle of the road. According to legend, vicious dogs used to roam this town, but the only dog we saw was about the size of a small poodle being petted by several patrons at the town's one cafe (Dintaman & Landes, 2017). Around the bend from the cross the main road turns to rock and dirt. And a number of houses are in serious disrepair like the one you see below.



 The bell tower is the only thing left standing of this church near Somoza.

At the top of the mountain is Cruz Ferro a wooden pole with and iron cross where pilgrims leave a stone a that represents a burden left behind. 


Even cows have their own field crosses in Catholic country! 


View from atop the Irago Mountain looking back toward Somoza.

Distance signs to Santiago at a unique Albergue outside Manjarin.

The nuclear plant near Molinaseca. We see it far in the distance as we come down the steep trail into Molinaseca. The interesting pilgrim below decided to do an entire yoga routine at the cafe in Acebo. Whatever it takes after climbing and decending that mountain today! 


Rooftops as we enter Molinaseca. This bicycle statue is in honor of a 70-year-old cyclist from Germany who died in a bike accident here on the Camino in the 1980s (Dintaman & Landes, 2017).


Church in Molinaseca.

Part of the downhill path is solid rock, like Jeff is standing on and part is loose rocks. A tricky descent.  


Leaving the Irago mountains behind we finally arrive 21 miles later in Ponferrada. The Templar castle here is one of the most amazing sites on the Camino. It was built in the 13th Century, is surrounded by a large moat, and has 12 towers, representing the 12 disciples (Dintaman & Landes, 2017). Ponferrada is a modern town with lots of industry and a population of about 68,000 (Dintaman & Landes, 2017).



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