Matthew 9:17 People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.
Day 30 — 15.06 Miles — Ponferrado to Villafranca del Bierzo, May 27. Ed and Melissa from Tennessee stayed at the same hostel in which we stayed last night. We left the hostel together at 6:30 am. The temperature was already in the 50’s so we wanted to leave Ponferrado as early as possible. The four of us did not walk together all day as Melissa’s is having problems with blisters. We did however cross paths during the day.
Breakfast was finally available after we had walked about 4 miles. The cafe in Fuentes Nueva was crowded as no cafe’s were open in Ponferrado early in the morning. Vineyards and cherry tree orchards were surrounding us. The view is changing again and it is pretty. The cherries on the trees were huge. We were tempted to pick some but did not have the owner’s permission. The cherries stayed on the trees.
Gravel replaced the asphalt outside of Camponaraya. We were walking through wine country again. The grapes on the vines are just staring to grow so they are very tiny.
At Pieros a choice had to be made. Should we take the shorter path along highway or take a longer path through the vineyards. We chose the longer path and were rewarded with beautiful scenery. In Valtuille de Arriba, we sat on a park bench that was at the edge of the street next to a pilgrim water fountain. A pretty garden was across the street. The streets in small villages are only wide enough for one car so the garden was close.
Our hostel in Villafranca del Bierzo was in the 17th century San Nicolas el Real monastery. The building looked like a castle on the outside and inside. The rooms were nice and up to date. There was even free WiFi in the hallways! The WiFi would not work in the rooms. Once you stepped into your room, the internet connection was lost. So…..we pretended that a time warp had occurred. We talked and socialized with friends. We ate dinner that night at the monastery with Ed and Melissa. Technology is in most instances is good but we should not let it replace our personal interaction with others. We see other pilgrims walking down the path with phones to their ears. They do no realize the life they are missing.
Herrerias is the next town where we will be stopping for the night. Buen Camino. Sharon and Ron