Day forty eight ,Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo,
Started @ 6.30am till 2.30 pm~23 kilometres
(Should have stopped in Cacabellos)

Had a very early start. The American women got up and started to pack their bags. Okay. I can do this too, much faster than anybody else. I was out by six thirty. The morning air was crisp, I walked fast. Warming up as I went. My notes had said that it was very difficult to get out of Ponferrada, but I had no difficulties what so ever. There were two peregrinos in front of me, who set a good and fast pace. The weather was gorgeous and it soon warmed up. The walk went through all kinds of small villages and, although one had to walk along the road, it was pleasant enough.

I arrived in Cacabelos, around ten o’clock. I had planned to stop here for the day, but as I was doing so well, and it was still so very early I decided to go on. While having a drink, a Spanish woman came up to me, telling me something, I had no idea what she was trying to tell me. The young woman at the next table told me, I was not allowed to sit at that table as it belonged to a different cafe. So be it! I was not at all concerned. The young woman was from Germany, and obviously eager to talk. We chatted for awhile and I made up my mind to go on. She asked if she could walk with me for a while. This is not what I had in mind, but as I had walked for over three hours by myself without speaking anything more than “buen Camino”, I was ready for a chat. At least we didn’t do the how many kilometres or what ever boring Camino talk consists off. We talked about life, relationships and self confidence. Suddenly I seem to be an expert in young women’s eyes! And I suppose looking back indeed, I have come an enormously far way when you think of it. Wisdom eh, comes with the years! Hallelujah! Nina and I got into an easy rhythm, and soon we were talking and walking rather fast. Before we knew it we were in Villafranca del Bierzo.

You enter the village past an old Roman church. This church has a door of forgiveness! (Only Santiago has one too) I didn’t take any photos. Thinking I would come back later. I had booked a bed at this lovely Albergue Leo! Very reasonable, and there was room for Nina as well. Hot shower, washing, sleep! My gosh, life is full of routines! Scary, must watch this!

While checking in Nina met Martha, from Austria, who had been at the Hostal for over two days now. she had been walking over thirty kilometres a day, and after three weeks her leg had given up. Just like that! Young over achievers, trying to get to the end stop as fast as possible. Nina and Martha went off together, and I was so happy that they had made friends their own age.
After my nap I explored the town, took photos of the” Door of Forgiveness”, and let it all go!
Life is good and God is great!

Today’s lesson: don’t overdo things! (Cacabelos was far enough!)
Today’s gift: Photographic exhibition in Cacabelos