Camino de Santiago Day 9: Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Day 9: Ponferrada to Pedrafita, 56 kms.
- Camino de Santiago Day 1: Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
- Camino de Santiago Day 2: Estella to Navarrete, Spain
- Camino de Santiago Day 3: Navarrete to Belorado
- Camino de Santiago Day 4: Belorado to Burgos, Spain
- Camino de Santiago Day 5: Burgos to Ledigos, Spain
- Camino de Santiago Day 6: Ledigos to Leon, Spain
- Camino de Santiago Day 7: Leon to Astorga, Spain
- Camino de Santiago Day 8: Astorga to Ponferrada, Spain
I must have slept soundly for I woke up past 9:00AM with the sun shining through the terrace window. Though my creaking joints were still aching, I felt good surprisingly after yesterday’s bad experience which now seemed like a distant nightmare.
Brewed coffee and a hearty breakfast put me further in a better mood and I felt I could get used to the luxurious surroundings and tarry around for another day perhaps. The thought crossed my mind briefly but then the road called……so I saddled up and left close to noontime.
Ponferrada to Pedrafita, 56 kms.
Cacabelos was 10 kms. away and it was a prosperous-looking town known for its El Bierzo wine. I kept away from it – the wine I mean – and pedaled onward to Villafranca where the longest climb in the whole Compostela began. All 36 kms. of it to O Cebreiro through heavily-wooded countryside. Although it was not exceedingly steep, somehow, I psyched myself up for the expected difficulty. This time I put on my headphones to distract my mind from the weariness of it all. The Stones were belting out “I can’t get no, satisfaction!”. Well, that’s exactly how I felt at that moment. No satisfaction in what I was doing. But I had to do it for reasons that were far more spiritually compelling.
When I got to Pedrafita, about 10 kms. short of my goal, I decided to called it quits. My body was telling me enough and so it had to be. I had biked hard for about 56 kilometers and it was no mean feat for someone who, just 6 months ago, was a couch potato, too lazy to do any exercise.
And now I was almost 1400 meters above sea level – all achieved through sweat and hard work. Sometimes, even I am surprised about myself and what compels me, I think, is to prove that I can still do stuff once I set the bar up high.
Note: This was my daily journal throughout the pilgrimage route which took all of 12 days from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela.