Walking The Camino De Santiago Day 29 – Ponferrada to Villafranca Del Bierzo
We got lost walking out of Ponferrada. It was still dark when we left the albergue as they are very strict on everyone being out before 8am. The albergue was great all the same. It was purely by donation and they gave us a room to ourselves. There were kitchen facilities and complete utensils as well.
The way was really poorly sign posted walking out of Ponferrada. It is also quite a big city and very spread out. Anyone that we asked for directions told us something different and it was all very confusing.
We walked for 10km through urban areas before we finally got onto a trail with some surrounding countryside. At some point we must have realigned with the Camino De Santiago, because we started seeing signs again after a couple of hours of walking.
It wasn’t the most eventful days walk on the Camino De Santiago. Much of it was urban or along country roads. We met up with our Chilean friend towards the end of the day. He seemed bored and glad to have some company and someone to talk to.
His name was Sebastian and I liked to call him our Camino stalker as he always seemed to appear at some stage and also stayed at many of the same albergues as us along the way.
He was an English high school teacher and was very knowledgeable about the Camino De Santiago and it’s history. Everytime I talked with him he told me something new, whether it be about the knights of templar, the cathedrals, or the staineed glass windows in the cathedrals, which he seemed to know much about.
I had very littel interest in visiting churches and cathedrals and other such landmarks. My interest was more in nature the culture of today and my immediate environment. I never really had a passion for history, but I could appreciate the attraction for Sebastian.
Having an in depth knowledge of the history would certainly give one a deeper insight and meaning to the various historical sites a long the way.
The few conversations that I had with him on these topics were as good as reading a book on the subject, and as he was a teacher he was good at explaining such things in an interesting and informative way.
I particularly liked his stories of the Knights Of Templar, which I found to be mysterious and intriguing. They seemed to have a knowledge of the stars, of alchemy, architecture and warfare that was uncommon. To this day experts still can’t quite figure out how they managed to make the stain glass windows all those years ago without the modern devices.
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