Ponferrada to Cacabelos, Day 30 Camino de Santiago

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Ponferrada Spain completely exhausted, after a hot bath, we washed some cloths and headed to the hotel lounge for a beer and some tapas. Dinner in Spain is not usually served until after 8 or 8:30pm . Often on the camino if you choose to stay in albergues are anywhere close to the albergue the restaurants will serve a pilgrim’s menu as early as 6:30 or 7 pm. This is usually a “set” menu, you will be offered a choice of starters like soup and salad or maybe pasta, for main courses, fried pork, chicken or beef, served with chips (french fries) and for the desert ice cream, flan, fruit or yogurt is usually on the menu.  In Ponferrada we were staying in a lovely hotel that had a bath, not just a shower, soft comfy beds, no bunks in a dorm, and a restaurant that did not serve the pilgrim’s menu.  So we had time for a nap. But no energy to see the city.

Today we had a short day planned so we slept in, and spent an hour touring the old city of Ponferrada.  As it is Sunday the stores and offices are all closed, and the streets were quiet.  We did see the Castillo de los Temparios, but it didn’t open until after 11 am, so we could only view the Templar Castle from the outside.  Built in the 13th century to help protect the pilgrims from bandits, it looks like a fairly tale castle, similar to one I think Puff the Magic Dragon would have lived it!

Castillo de los Templarios_Ponferrada Spain

Just outside the castle in one of the many squares that surround the castle is another pilgrim/peregrine sculpture, very modern, but interesting all the same.

Perigino:pilgrim sculpture,Ponferrada Spain

We left Ponferrada about 11 am, and travelled about 20 kilometers for Cacabelos.  It was flat, mostly paved road though a couple of small towns where we were able to stop for coffee and a small bite to eat. Temperatures reached 28 degrees C, had I know it was going to be so hot we might have left earlier, but since the route was easy there were no complaints.

In Cacabelos we decided to stay at a lovely hotel La Moncloa de San Lazaro, right on the main camino path,  We walk in through huge wooden doors into a lovely courtyard covered with vines, potted plants lining the balcony and  old baskets, tools, and lovely wooden tables and benches decorated the place.  To the left as you enter is the reception area, the hostess was charming and helpful and after showing us our room invited us for a glass of wine. This place is a hit in our books.

After a shower to wash off the day’s dust, and laundry done we headed down for a glass of wine and some tapas, which will hold us over until dinner.  The birds were singing to us we sat there overlooking the beautiful courtyard and I wondered how we could extend our time in this camino paradise.

La Moncloa de San Lazara Cacabelos Spain

15 thoughts on “Ponferrada to Cacabelos, Day 30 Camino de Santiago

  1. Hi Janice, I just love those old castles – the Castillo de los Templarios, Ponferrada Spain, in my opinion makes the whole trip a great success! The hotel you stayed in at your next stop reminded me of a similar styled hotel we stayed in last fall when we were in the South of France. They are charming and friendly places! We may be going back to Europe in the spring and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in that lifestyle for a couple of weeks…. must remember to take the Maple Leafs! Last year we had some unpleasant moments and it took most of our holiday before I realized why…. they thought we were Americans! We had a similar experience at the Spanish border a few years ago.. remnants of the ‘Hake” scandal still lingering. You two must be feeling really fit from all that walking…. 600 kms so far?


    1. WE love the old castles as well, although there are not too many of them in this area. We have been mistaken for Americans, but no ill treatment on the camino! We have even had Americans apologize for thinking we were Americans! All in all I think the people we have met have been the high light of the trip. We have less than 200 kilometres to go before we reach Santiago. I think we will take a bus to Finnisterra (Atlantic Ocean)


  2. It seems to me that in doing the camino that the journey is the reason but the people, food, scenery and accommodations are the rewards. This leg of the walk definitely sounds more pleasant and less taxing than the one before it but like all things it was necessary to endure that one to enjoy this one. We are looking forward to seeing you and Bill again and hearing about your trek, in person. Take care of each other and have a happy thanksgiving.


    1. Hi Reg, the camino is interesting and rewarding for so many reasons, and taxing when we least expect it! We have one more (I say this with fingers crossed) hard climb tomorrow…,
      we look forward to seeing you when we get home as well! happy thanksgiving to you and Mavis.


  3. The court yard looks lovely, no wonder you wanted to try to stay longer. I can’t believe you already have less than 200km to go! Congrats on making it this far.


  4. Oh, doesn’t that courtyard look lovely. I would be charmed into staying for sure… so much beauty. I keep thinking of quotes, looking at your photos: “silent poems” is one quote that keeps coming to mind.
    That castle is “puff the Magic Dragon for sure! (“frolick[ing] in the autumn mist”… for admission, they should allow you to come in if you bring “string, and sealing-wax, and other fancy stuff”)
    I had a cup of coffee with you just now, in the courtyard… I would’ve had a glass of wine, but too early in the day! 🙂


    1. Hi Carol, the coffee here is great! almost as good as the wine! we have had dinner and will be turning in, as it will be a tough 19 k hill climb tomorrow. I will bring string and sealing-wax and we can talk of building castles in the sky over coffee and wine when I get home!


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