Ponferrada to Triacastela, 60.4 miles, 02/09/04

Written 04/09/04
Montes de Leon was a drop into Ponferrada.
Cordillera Cantabrica today. 1300 metres from about 500m.
Cebreiro at the top.
Live webcam of Cebreiro

Then a small drop then followed by 2 more peaks 1270m and 1300m before flying down the hill to Triacastella.
Absolutely empty at the end of the day.
Took the N1 the wrong way out of Ponferrada in the morning, just what you need, 15 miles travelled before I even started back to the Camino. HA. Turned around at the sign for N1 Bembibre.

Ponferada Castle
Turned down the side of the castle to follow the camino and I'm
finally out of town and into the next hills, hills and more hills.
Apart from a few 1 minute drops its been uphill all day. The NV1 took me through a village under the most fantastic motorway bridge I have ever seen, each carraigeway has its own bridge, at different heights, hundreds of feet above a steep valley near Trabadelo.

(thats a large articulated truck in the photo)
Traffic thundering overhead whilst I'm slogging up the hill underneath in perfect solitude, not a car in sight for hours.
Old houses doors open, stone flagged floors, people sat watching the world go by outside their houses (?? no traffic), BBQ on a wire grille on the ground at the side of the road, a pair of old boots tied to a signpost moving gently in the breeze, Camino casualties?.
Down a small incline round a bend and the bike is sliding on a mass of cowshit, this is a main NV road??
Finally to Cebriero, I can see the motorway dropping away to my left, I think I've made it, the top!! But no, turn left and keep climbing. Passed a group of spanish cyclists and they were cheering, bon camino, 2 mins later a flat front tyre and they pass me by without a word. CĀ“est la Vie.
Over the top to more contours and small hills, and finally drop off the edge of the world at around Lamas.

Incredible, tight twisting turns on perfect fresh laid tarmac, down and down and down. Hot brakes jumping. Saw a kid with a new carrier bag, good chance of a shop. Found it, that will do nicely. Was packing the food into the saddlebags and saw a walker in a doorway, a refugio, that will do nicely again.
Bike parked up in the garage underneath (including my clean clothes, the lights down there don't work.)
A bath, they have A BATH, first since the start of june, just relaxing and a stack of walkers come knocking on the door, apparently I got the last unreserved bed, they booked ahead and now they want their bath. Tough, wait mate.
Snoring, their revenge for the bath, thunderous sickly bubbling asphyxiation and snores, 15 in the dorm, never heard anything like it and my earplugs are locked in the garage.
I slept in my bath, pillow blankets and all.

Albergue Refugio del Oribio, Triacastela



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