Two New Hampshire girls hike the 500-mile Camino de Santiago to raise money for women around the world.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day Thirty-Four: Villafranca del Bierzo to Herrerias. April 15, 2013

Distance: 22 kilometers (13.66 miles) with about 400 meters (1300 feet or so) of elevation gain.

We set out excited at the prospect of climbing a hill and getting some great morning views. Then we missed the turn when leaving the city...Alex saw the right way to go but I didn't think she was right (foolish me). We therefore ended up going the road route for half a mile before I realized our (my) mistake. We backtracked, I apologized to Alex, and we ascended the wooded hill toward Alto Pradela.

Leaving Villafranca and crossing the bridge (the path splits just beyond this bridge)...

A truck was parked in front of the hill when we first approached this intersection, which is why I didn't see the arrow and therefore naysayed Alex (bad mom).

The hill is immediately and severely steep. Most of the elevation gain happens within the first few tenths of a mile.

Getting higher...

...and higher...

The path winds up the side of the mountain in front of us...

Heading down through the beautiful trees...

<photos coming soon>

The Way became steep...

<photos coming soon>

We were parched when we arrived in Trabadelo, but we couldn't find a bar/cafe that was open. We had water but we were dying for something ice cold. On we went, toward La Portela de Valcarce. 
We had pavement from here on out, but we also had shade (sometimes) and a nice breeze, so we felt reasonably cool.

We stopped at a trucker rest area to buy some cold drinks...wish we hadn't..just around the corner was a lovely pilgrim's cafe (brown building in the photo below).

<photos coming soon>

We filled our water bottles at a fountain located just after the pilgrim's cafe, then headed onward to and through the small towns of Ambasmestas, Vega de Valcarce, and Ruitelan.

<photos coming soon>

We arrived in the quaint little town of Herrerias at 2:30 and stopped in the first place we saw - a hotel called Josana. Yes, I know, another hotel. Before Hugh joined us, the girls and I did mostly albergues. I budgeted thirty Euros a night for the three of us, since some albergues charge ten Euros a bed. Now that Hugh is with us, I am splitting costs with him and the two of us can afford sixty Euros. Therefore, hotels and private rooms that were previously out of my budget are now within our combined price range. We will very soon return to albergues, though.

<photo coming soon>

Views from our hotel room at Josana...

<photo coming soon>

Our beautiful room (they put more beds in the room to accommodate us).

<photo coming soon>

Hugh and I like this room the best out of all the places we've stayed. The stone walls, the wooden beams, the blue walls, the huge windows, and the gorgeous views...wunderbar.

Tomorrow we climb up and through O'Cebreiro.

I've a strange thank-you to write. To the makers of the shampoo Selsun Blue, thanks. I wash my face with Selsun Blue every night and day and it's the only thing that keeps my rosacea at bay. My skin doesn't tolerate sun, alcohol or caffeine consumption, or exertion (sweat) very well...without Selson Blue, my face would look like a volcano right now. And no, I'm not being paid to write this. I'm just happy I can do the Camino and not pay the price with my face.

---Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
 Location:Ruta del Camino de Santiago,San Juli├ín,Spain


Momagain said...

I'm in Spain making my way from Bilbao to Roncevalles. Glad to read your posts in the same time zone. Since I'm from northern California I agree about hiking in warm weather tho' it's nice to see the sun. I will try your selsun blue trick. I break out from sun. Never thought about wine and caffeine ... Hope not as i must have coffee in the morning and wine with dinner :)

Anonymous said...

I made the same mstake leaving Villa Franca...
Buen Camino ladies
N in NC

Anonymous said...

Selson Blue huh? I'll have to try that. I make and use my own lye soap and it helps but I've noticed on days I go out in the sun a lot my rosacea gets a little worse. As I'm hopeful to make my Camino trip in the next year or two I'll try the Selson Blue, as well as the HikeGoo you've mentioned in previous posts. So many great ideas. Please tell the young ladies I tip my hat to them. They are true inspirations in many ways.