Day 19: Molinaseca to Ponferrada 

With laundry done, we settled in for the night in a very comfy room (note that, at this point, “comfy” is anything with a private bedroom and bathroom!) Aparently, American reality TV shows are pretty popular in Spain as the majority of the English language programs were reruns of Deadliest Catch and House Hunters. Pretty dull. Sleep came early and we got up to try what was billed as “the best breakfast on the Camino.” 

Breakfast was pretty good, but the beans were definitely from a can (thereby disqualifying it from any “best of Camino” award. 

This was one of the more beautiful days en route. We spent most of the morning walking through pastures with amazing vistas like this. 

We reached the medieval city of Ponferrada shortly before noon. Yeah, this 12th century bridge was an appropriatly flashy entrance for Frank and Mikey. 

 Frank standing in front of the 12th century Templar castle. Although most of it was rebuilt during the 14-16th centuries, it was still an impressive sight.  Too bad the moat was dry – it would’ve been a perfect day for a swim!

This is part of the original structure. We climbed to the top of the tower via a really sketchy circular stone staircase.  

17th century Iglesia San Andres.  

16th century Basilica de la Encina.  

In honor of Mother’s Day (May 1st), the basilica held a procession the night before featuring a “passo” of Jesus’ mother, Mary. Kinda rad and unexpected by us! 

The castle looked amazing at night.  

This was the best find in the whole city – a meat vending machine! That’s right, no longer will siesta or early store closings stop our cured meat cravings. Starting at only 2€, this vending machine can satiate ones most primal desires at any hour. Only in Spain!

Ponferrada was an unexpected stopover, so we’ll be zooming through a lot tomorrow. Still, it was well worth it and we did enjoy a rest from the backpacks if only for a little while. Hasta pronto. 

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