Cacabelos to Villafranca del Bierzo on October 11th

We were very slow getting on the road after a coffee and toast breakfast but we were not going to walk far so it didn’t make a difference.  Since it was Sunday the cafe where we were going to stop for coffee was not open.  We walked about five miles to Villafranca.  We had called for rooms and the man said no problem.  I always get nervous when this happens and I think there will be no room or four beds or two beds or one room.  Well, there was no problem and we have two rooms in a huge school that has been converted to an alburgue that has some private rooms.  It may have been a convent once.  Nice place.  We found a restaurant that served fried eggs and bacon so we had a proper breakfast albeit late at about 2:30. Ag and I went to look for a farmacia and/or grocery store.  We came upon an urgent care place.  We wanted to see if Ag had a fever and as we were looking at the hours posted on the door a nurse opened the door and told us to come in.  The doc had no English and we had no Spanish but Ag conveyed that she had a cold and cough so he proscribed some cough medicine and paracetamol.  Th at had gotten info from Ag’s passport but when we offered to pay they said no.  Found the open farmacia right across from the alburgue, paid 7€ and got back to the room.  Linda and Helen ran into the Australian brothers and arranged to meet at a restaurant that frequented by the locals.  Good food, better wine and good conversation.   The wine we get with our pilgrims meal is probably 1€ a bottle.  Tonight’s wine was 16€ and we could tell the difference. The brothers are taking sixty days to walk and plan to be in Santiago on October 23rd so they can see the botafumiero swing at Friday evening mass in the cathedral.  We four pilgrims thought that was a good plan for us and we will try to do the same.  The botafumiero is a four foot tall incense burner that is swung by ropes controlled by six men.  It is impressive on TV and it would be a shame to miss it.  Walked through the streets of the old town to the brothers’ alburgue.  They insisted we come in a see what the grandchildren had done to their grandfather’s house.  It was a beautiful renovation.  We then said goodbye and walked ourselves back to our alburgue.  We planned the next and said goodnight.  Another grand day on the Camino.

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