Walked today: 6.8 miles
Walked Camino 2019: 292.0 miles
Our previous walks into Ponferrada from Molinaseca have been at the end of the very difficult downhill, rocky path from El Acebo into Molinaseca.
Today, having spent the night in Molinaseca, it was a much easier walk plus we decided to take the not recommended route, walking straight into the city on sidewalks versus swinging left of the city through some unattractive farms and abandoned buildings, then into the city through an old, depressed section.
The recommended route left us with a negative feelings about Ponferrada, which was completely different from our experience today.
The so-called direct route took us through some beautiful homes and landscapes, high rise (7 stories) residential areas surrounded by parks and winding, wide boulevards with local walkers and limited traffic.
We also walked gently down into the historical old city areas instead of climbing up into the same area via the alternate route.
Our perception of Ponferrada has improved 100% due entirely to the way we enteted the city today.
Some weeks back, we discovered by accident that Ponferrada has a Decathlon store. We were introduced to Decathlon back in 2017, when we visited the store outside Burgos to replaced Linda’s non-performing fishing sandals. Unfortunately, the only D store in the USA is in San Francisco, so we picked a hotel in Ponferrada about a mile from the D store so we could check it out while we were here, especially since Linda is concerned that she didn’t bring enough warm clothes for our remaining 3 weeks, as the mornings are now dipping into the 40’s.
As soon as we checked into Hostal San Miguel (43€), we headed out to D.
When we got there, it was closed up tight. This was in spite of the open hours scheduled on the door and the store hours posted on the internet!
We checked next door at the McDonald’s restaurant and were informed that the festival for this weekend took precedence over all else.
So, we walked back to the hotel, empty handed.
After completing chores, we had a menu of the day at a nearby restaurant/bar. It gave us a chance to taste the “Conference Pear” grown only in the Bierzo region. They were very delicate in flavor and texture and sliced and served in a light syrup.
Jim had grilled fish, called “Lupina” and left only the bones, head and some skin.
That pretty much ended our activity for today and gave us insight to the Camino “alternate/preferred” routes and new perspectives on Ponferrada.