I had just got off the train and was headed for my hostal - giving the albergue a miss as I needed to sort all my gear at leisure.
Ponferrada is famous for its Templar castle.
It was easy leaving Ponferrada, following the signs, though one man stopped me to make sure I was going on the right path. I am on a "road less traveled" as the Camino Invierno heads south briefly before turning and heading to Santiago more or less parallel to the much busier, and known, Camino Frances.
I only followed these mojóns for two days.....
..... as now that I'm in Galicia these are what I follow.
It has been a lovely few days looking out over panoramic vistas dotted with yellow, and occasionally red, autumn leaves. I have at times been walking on carpets of golden leaves. There has been plenty of places to rest too, as the Xunta has provided, at the most scenic spots, a picnic area with tables and benches.
The path soon after leaving Ponferrada.
Autumn leaves, approaching A Rûa de Valdeorras....
......and the night before along the river park in O Barco de Valdeorras.
A "prickly pear" crop on the approach to O Barco de Valdeorras.
I thought this old cart was no longer in use, but then I saw the tyres. It looks to me as if it is ready to use.
The rock fall (bottom right) has made this rock face appear like a giant slippery dip. Just around the corner I met a young Swiss chap. He was camping, and had been very sick the night before. He was very nervous because he could hear boar all night and knew he was too weak to run in the event of an attack. I haven't heard them, but have seen diggings.
The village of Villavieja was, in medieval Times the service village for the serfs who worked at the Castillo de Cornatel.
The Templar Castillo de Cornatel (above & below) on its craggy outcrop.
Two Señora's who quizzed me, and cheered me, as I entered the village of Borrenes.
The second day, was relatively easy, but quite fascinating. I had no idea about the history of this region, nor of the formations that kept drawing my eye. This was Las Médulas - huge red formations thrusting up from the surrounding green. Tourists flock here, and even though the season has finished there was still a steady stream.
A view from the village itself
This whole area was mined (Gold) by the Romans. There are piles of rocks all around the place, and a bit further on I could see a hillside glistening in the afternoon sun. This wasn't old piles of rock though - it was new works and I think it was slate - the whole hillside.
Looking back at Las Médulas - I couldn't help but keep turning back to admire the view!
Bee keeping is a traditional industry in this area and has been for many centuries.
The guard rail in the corner should help you see the size of this tree - not the biggest I saw either.
A chestnut tree in the scrub, VERY thick, except for the patch surrounding the tree.
Mama & papa returning from the morning harvest.
I trust you find this as interest as I have. This is truly a beautiful way, and I suspect that the Caminioites out there who haven't though about this way, just might give it some consideration. You could do worse. Until next time......