Had a good night’s sleep, ate breakfast alone and set off out of Camponaraya feeling great.

The walk was through the vineyards of the Bierzo region and, as I walked along picking grapes and apples and marvelling at the technology of the vine harvester, I was smiling as I walked.

The vines seemed to be planted two different ways. I presume there were some which were planted for mechanical harvesting and others looked as though a machine could not pick the grapes off as the vines were fairly randomly spaced, not like the neat rows on the other side of the road.

This was turning out to be a beautiful walk. I seemed to not even notice the kms. drop away.

In my happiness I remember thinking, “I could really do this you know”. Then as if someone had sent just a little annoyance down to let me know you always have to be on guard.

Can’t remember where I was but I spotted him a mile away. As I walked towards this crossroads I could see this guy get out of a car, cross the road to my side and stand waiting, tracts in hand. Can’t understand who he was trying to convert or to what religion but I wasn’t having any of it. Kept my head down, no eye contact and mutter the words “no entiendo”. Maybe I should try this at home.

Kept wondering when Villafranca would appear as I couldn’t see it anywhere in the mountains. Then, as I rounded a corner, there it was, sunken into the valley between two mountains, as if it didn’t want to be found.


It was a really lovely town spread over many different levels of cobbled streets with a couple of different plazas.

Unfortunately didn’t’ get too much time to look around as the rain was bouncing off the streets. Got really soaked and had to try took dry off in a café where I had my peregrino menú del dia with the usual side of C&L.

Bottle of red wine with the meal had to be shared with a couple from Canada and then on to find my accommodation for the night – La Casa de Leo.

Got settled in, chatted with the new peregrinos, mostly cyclists and then retired for the evening.

Tomorrow is another way.

About CJ

Setting out 1st September to walk El Camino. I am walking the French Way and starting at Logroño. My wonderful wife is joining me at Sarria to finish the walk with me.
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