Quantcast

Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada

Leaving El Acebo Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comThose of you who follow me on Instagram will know that this summer (2019) I’m walking 200km along the Camino de Santiago, from Léon to Sarría in Spain. This is the fourth leg of the Camino which I started in 2016 (if you’re interested, I wrote a Q&A post in response to some of the questions people had asked me along the way that year), I’m completing a leg each summer until 2020. This is Day 30 (other posts linked at the end of this post).

Camino Frances Day 30: El Acebo to Ponferrada (approx 15 km)

This was, again, a shorter day today – I’d built in some “well under 20km” days and had been looking forward to this one, in particular the prospect of arriving in Ponferrada – a larger town that sounded interesting with a history that included the Knights Templar.

I took it easy today, mostly because I knew it was a short day but also because the terrain wasn’t exactly easy for a lot of the day… Started out ok…

Scrubland Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.combut soon turned into this…

Rivers of concrete Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Hard to walk on Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comPretty to look at – hard to walk on!

Approaching Molinaseca, this was the situation…

Rough terrain Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comUh, yeah… kinda rough. And lopsided! Really challenging to walk on! As I entered the town of Molinaseca though, I had a little greeting party!

Cat on the Camino Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd beautiful views as I came to the town centre…

Arriving in Molinaseca Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd more friends to keep me company for my morning coffee…

Cats on the Camino in Molinaseca Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comStayed just long enough for my morning coffee before I pressed on…

Molinaseca statue Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Walking alongside the road Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comA little bit of this was on the road today but later on, closer to the city it was a little bit confusing…

Lonely countryside Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt seemed there was a path (there was) but wasn’t sure if it was the Camino… and I was all alone for a number of kilometres, seemingly walking through people’s fields… Then all of a sudden…

Arriving at castle in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comPonferrada appeared!

And I didn’t realise it but I’d arrived in town on the first day of the the Knights Templar Festival!

Arriving in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Templar Festival in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Whoh! I retreated to my hotel room and read a little bit about it, figuring if I napped enough in the afternoon I might be able to manage to stay awake for the ceremony later on (at, like 9-10pm which is pretty much well past my bedtime when I am on the Camino!).

I rested then headed out around 6pm to check out the town… It’s GORGEOUS!

Templar Castle in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Views in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comI started noticing things for sale in the stores, pointing to a mass participation in the Festival…

Um, ok.

I did a bit of people watching…

Apero hour in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd picknicked in my room because, being a “big town’, Ponferrada doesn’t strictly cater to the pilgrims wanting to eat at 7pm! After my picnic I headed out, thrilled to discover the gelatería across the street had finally opened (around 8pm!).

Ice cream in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd then I followed the crowd (and the camera crew!)..

Family at Templar Festival in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Reporting on Knights Templar Festival in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comEveryone was headed to the Castle…

Templar Festival in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com Castle in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt was fascinating and a little eerie!

Headed to the Castle Templar Festival in Ponferrada Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada with Camino Travel Center on eatlivetravelwrite.com(excuse the zoomed in image…)

Ok so what was going on? Apparently, this….

Under the moonlight of the first full moon in the summer. Fray Guido de Garda, Master of the Order of the Templar Knights, comes back to the city of the Iron Bridge to seal an eternal pact of friendship and give it the custody of the symbols found in the holy land of Jerusalem: the sacred Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail.

After greeting the procession of Templars, thousands of people from Ponferrada dressed in medieval clothes walk up to the Castle looking after the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail.

I also read that the kids in the procession were “recreating town life” of the medieval times but somewhere else read that this was an “induction” (possibly a reenactment) to the Order. All a little confusing (and couldn’t exactly find much online) but certainly fun to be there for!

Verdict: LOVED my time in the “big city” and thrilled it coincided with the Festival! Was lovely to have SO much time in a town (I arrived at 11.30!) to wander and not be rushed and tired!

Stay tuned for the next leg which takes us to Villafrance del Bierzo.

_________

Disclosure: I researched Camino trips independently and chose the Camino Travel Center based on a number of features such as flexibility to accommodate a couple of “splits” in some of the longer days, price and customer service. They were, in fact the first company I came across in my very first Google search and the one I ended up booking with. From the initial inquiry to the actual trips, they have been a pleasure to deal with and we have been very impressed with the service provided (bag transportation) and the accommodation choices. I was not compensated to write about this trip in any way but I love sharing companies and products I believe in with my readers. I couldn’t recommend the Camino Travel Center more and, in fact, am booking my last Camino walk with them for next summer (the summer I will finally reach Santiago!).

Read more about the Camino de Santiago

Click here to read all my posts about the Camino de Santiago!

monthly newsletter signup!

, , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Walking the Camino de Santiago: El Acebo to Ponferrada

  1. Geoff July 25, 2019 at 19:38 #

    Fabulous post, lovely pics. I will re-read later today.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.