On my way … Day 27 … Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias

Friday, June 8, 2018 … 24 kms … 14 miles 

Today’s Path 

Today was supposed to be a strenuous stage with the steepest incline of the whole pilgrimage. The climb to O’Cebreiro.  We decided to cut our walk short today and stay at the base of the mountain. This way we will be fresh for the climb in the morning. I would much rather tackle the climb with my body feeling fresh. Even making today short only turns tomorrow into a twenty-nine-kilometer day. Perfect plan. Again, as a group, we made this decision.  

With no mountain to climb today it will be a nice flat day following the highway.  

Leaving Villafranca 

Since today was going to be a fairly easy and short day, we didn’t hit the trail until around eight. It was nice. We had a nice breakfast at the hostel and slowly made our way out. The rush of pilgrims had already left which made it easier.  

When you leave Villafranca, you actually have three different paths to choose from. We choose the middle one, it follows the road and has the most towns. The others were more remote mountain paths. 

The walk through the valley is so beautiful. Even though you are walking along a road, it is not a busy road and there are numerous cute little village towns.  

It was cloudy and you could see the clouds on the mountains. It was beautiful. We knew there was a chance of rain just hoping it would hold off.  


Just five kilometers down the road was our first stop. As we were leaving town, we saw Nithyaa walking. We hadn’t seen her in a while. We enjoyed her company during our walk to Pereje. Nithyaa and I had some quiet time together and shared some stories. Very grateful for this time. Nithyaa is an amazing young woman.

Perfect timing, cafe! We enjoyed our second breakfast. While eating Minh started to stand and stretch. Nithyaa asked what was hurting him, he said his hip. Nithyaa was a physical therapist so she asked Minh to lay down and she proceeded to do some stretches with him.  

It was great, right in the middle of the café. And no one even cared or questioned why he was laying on the floor. Acceptance and kindness along the Camino, it’s so beautiful. 

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

 Jawaharlal Nehru

As we left the café, Minh said he was feeling better.  

The Valley 

The rain started to fall as we left the café. It was not a light rain like the other days but a hard windy rain. When it rains this hard all you can do is walk.  

So today was a quiet day with lots of prayer time and silence. I just enjoyed the day. Even with the rain, it was beautiful.  

“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence, and nothing too much.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In each town, we would take the opportunity to get out of the rain. Sometimes it was a café and sometimes a grocery store. Each time we appreciated it and we’re thankful. So thankful for the little things.  

After walking in the rain for so long all you can do is enjoy it. We started singing and dancing in the rain.  

There is something about the rain that is refreshing. I remembered as a child how I would want to go play in the rain, so today I was thinking back on my childhood and I remember how much joy it was jumping in puddles and playing in the rain. 

So today I was a child, playing in the rain. 

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” 

John Ruskin

Las Herrerias 

I was so happy when we arrived in Herrerias. Every part of me was wet. We didn’t take a lot of pictures today due to the rain. If you looked up the rain was hitting your face.  

After all this playing in the rain, I was ready for a hot meal and a hot shower.  

Our Hostel, Casa Lixa 

This hostel had bunk rooms and private rooms. We took a bed in a bunk room. 10 bunks per room. The cost was 12 Euros, which included the sheets and blanket. Well worth it. A very nice accommodation. It had a nice restaurant downstairs and a sitting area with a fireplace. 

We enjoyed dinner with some new and old pilgrim friends! Played cards and just enjoyed our evening. Went to bed early because of our plans for tomorrow. 

Our Plans for Tomorrow 

We have planned to leave early in the morning. Very early. The earliest we have ever left. Everyone wants to see the sunrise as we climb the mountain. So, we will leave around five am. We have our headlamps and are ready for this adventure. Plenty of food to get us started and up to O’Cebreiro where we will enjoy a nice hot breakfast. So until then … Buen Camino. 

My Journal 

Friday, June 8th. 24 km … 14 miles 

It rained on us off and on for most of the day. There were times the rain was so hard. Every part of me got wet. Thank God my pack cover works so well, my clothes stayed dry.  

Today seemed long even though it was a short day. I think the rain made it feel that way. My feet were so tired. We saw Nithyaa today and walked with her for a while. She said that Sean was a few days back, he got sick and had to rest.  

Still just enjoying the moments. Love, peace, and joy are overflowing. I feel amazing! My body may be tired but my spirit is high! 

The hostel is nice. It has a nice restaurant downstairs. We went to a little bitty grocery store to get a few supplies for our morning walk. This town is really small. Thankful for the grocery store. It is also getting colder. So glad I was able to get a blanket, it is so soft. It’s so amazing how the little things mean so much. 

The little things today which I am grateful for: 

Singing in the rain, my blanket, hot shower with good water pressure, a nap, a cold beer, vino Tinto, great fellowship, comfy bed, my healthy body, my feet, and my friends. 

“Blessed are you, pilgrim, when wakefulness comes.” 

Are you planning a Camino?

Not sure if you want to walk it alone or with a group?

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