Thursday, 18 May 2017

Ponferrada to Puente de Domingo Florez 35kms. Albergue Alea last night was excellent and ideal as it's very close to the start of the Invierno. Way out from Ponferrada is easy to find using the forum guide or the Wise Pilgrims app and the way to Toral de Merayo was well marked by mojons and yellow arrows. Crossed the old bridge at TdM and continued to follow the mojons and arrows. Unfortunately, after about 2kms I thought that the direction felt off so checked the app and the forum guide and I was in the wrong place! Retraced my steps to see if I had missed a sign but all seemed correct. Decided to go back and pick up the guide/app trail which then all matched. However, there were no mojons or arrows to be seen until I reach Villalibre de la Jurisdiccion. So it would seem the route has been moved, probably to avoid the small climb up the vineyard. Wasn't happy to follow the 'new' route as I could not see any tack on my maps but given how good the arrows and mojons were the rest of the way I'm sure I would have got to the correct spot. Route was easy to follow thereafter without any problems. That said it was a tough day. The extra few kms didn't help but the tough bit was the ups and downs.  Given how long I've been walking this time I am fairly fit and like 40 plus days. Had to go up 300m and down again twice, plus another climb up of 300m and then down 400m and that climb down was long and hard. Would hate to do it in the wet, but more importantly, I would hate to try it without a good few days ( or weeks) on the Camino first!  Lovely scenery and the castle at Castillo de Comital was impressive. As a note it was now supposed to be open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1100 but I was there at 1100 and it was still closed. Now in Hostal Torre (18euros for peregrinos!) which is fine and off to A Rue de Valdeorras tomorrow. 

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