Visiting Molinaseca and Ponferrada

(From our winter camino, late February to early March 2020)

After the difficult descent the day before, the Scouse Spouse’s ankle wasn’t feeling right. We reluctantly decided to forego the beautiful but very tricky way down to Molinaseca … shame, since it is one of my favourite parts of the trail.

However, we were there to celebrate our fifth honeymoon anniversary and with so few other walkers, I didn’t want to risk ending up mid downhill needing help. We could have walked along the road but instead hung around in Acebo enjoying the breakfast and the views before we got a taxi to beautiful Molinaseca.

The taxi driver was lovely and chatted away in Spanglish-peregrino while zipping down the zigzaggy road. I have never walked the road, though some prefer it, but I’m not sure! It was very narrow and cars clearly drive fast around the bends. I decided to keep my eyes firmly on the hills rather than the road in front of me. As we arrived he suggested letting us off by the bridge so we could walk in, and took a few photos of us as well.

See that white gazebo outside the restaurant on the left? See the tables in front of it? Well, here’s the view right back at you from one of those tables.

It was lovely sitting there watching locals and visitors coming to enjoy a cup of coffee or a drink in the sun, some ordered meals and someone made a long table out of almost all the tables in the sun for a family feast. Lots of kids were playing on the pebbly bank, and a group of dog walkers stopped on the other side to let their dogs have a swim.

On the bridge you can just make out some colourful pilgrims, I think there were five of them – two adults, a teenager and two younger children – and we kept seeing them in the evenings, when we had changed to normal looking clothes, so they never acknowledged us. Even when we said Buen camino.

After a light lunch we moved on to Ponferrada, where we had booked a hotel room overlooking the second plaza – not the one by the church and the castle but the one with the town hall. Ours is sadly not the room with the flags, I would have liked that. The room was nice and they have a good restaurant downstairs, which I appreciated, as I always seem to end up eating pizza in Ponferrada! Instead we gorged on lots of small dishes.

Love the way they have supported this poor ancient tree! (Not the Scouse Spouse, he’s just sitting on the fence for once.) We took a lovely gentle bimble around town people watching, sat down to have a glass of wine and just … enjoyed ourselves and forgot to take photos!

Here’s a late one of our square by night though.

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