Day 10 Sunday, September 13

Counting today, we will be arriving in Santiago in ten days, God willing.

So how did yesterday go? You may remember my mentioning several days ago that we had TWO challenging days coming up. The day before yesterday was, as you now know, extremely challenging.  So much so John and I decided discretion was the better part of valor regarding yesterday. We decided to take advantage of the fact the first part of yesterday’s route involved walking through a fairly large town, a dreary walk at best. So, after a good night’s sleep and a leisurely breakfast, we took a taxi to the far side of the fairly large town and turned a long day into a fairly reasonable one.

Starting in open country,


(Notice the hills in the background; that’s where we were headed)

Walked through some nice park like areas…


Always heading toward the hills…


Passed through several towns…


In one of them, we stopped at a pharmacy for some odds and ends, and then took time to visit a small church museum.


Both the number of pilgrims AND the number of signs showing the distance to Santiago are becoming more frequent.


Back in the country, we passed through multiple vineyards, where the grape harvest was taking place. The work looks back breaking but the people doing the work were pleasant and offered us more grapes than we could eat from the backs of pickups that seemed to be filled with the fruits of their labor.



As the day went on, it became very warm, but the country was beautiful…


So we took our time…


Finally arriving at our destination around 4:30.


The town, Villafranca del Bierzo, is located on a small river, surrounded by hills and is very attractive.


Guarded, of course, by a pilgrim…


When we went out to dinner that evening, I asked John to take this picture so you would know what my new sweatshirt, which is doing a great job of keeping me warm, looks like.


This morning we were faced with a relatively short day…and rain! So fully prepared…

off we went, only to encounter a pilgrim dressed as pilgrims dressed historically (sorry for the blurry image)

With another indication we were slowly getting closer…

We left town…

To spend the day walking in the rain…

My biggest problem seemed to be getting my new rain poncho on right (here being helped by a nice waitress at a bar we stopped at….)

The good news is our day was short enough we arrived at our destination wet and tired, but in good spirits, around 2:30. We are in a lovely small hostel we have all to ourselves, having been warmly greeted by Josepha, who made us feel right at home.

John’s shin is acting up again, so he is now icing his leg again downstairs in the living area. I have been upstairs in our bedroom doing this blog. I think I will now take a little nap before we go out to dinner.  Our only prayer right now (at least that I can think of) is that a our wet things hung all over the place dry before tomorrow, which hopefully will dawn with bright sunshine.

Blessings to all.