Saturday, October 10, 2009
Villafranca del Bierzo
Two views of the camino path through the Bierzo wine growing area.
Villafranca del Bierzo has a lot of steep hills.
I decided to keep today's walk at 14 miles. My legs are still bit sore from yesterday's large amount of downhill walking. It may not seem like it, downhill walking is much harder on joints and muscles than uphill. Today's walk was some up and downhill, but we are still at a fairly low elevation. Tomorrow is the start of the climb to O'Cereibrio. I decided not to walk all the way to the top in one day. I will probably spread the next two stages into three days of walking instead of two.
Villafranca is a picturesque town built on steep hills. If one lived here, there would be no need for a gym workout. I saw the inside of three of the five churches. This was an important pilgrim town over the last ten centuries. Those who were too weak to continue on to Santiago were allowed to get their blessing here. There is also a thriving taxi business here that shuttles those modern day pilgrims who want to skip the hike up the hill. Or if you feel guilty about not walking, you can still walk, but the taxi will ferry your backpack so you don't have to carry it. But don't worry, I plan to walk the entire way with my backpack on my back the whole way.