Three days to reach Ponferrada from Astorga 

ASTORGA – RABANAL del CAMINO 20.6 

Rabanal del Camino to El Acebo 16.5 

El Acebo to Ponferrada 15.6 k 

A tougher stretch of road then we have had for a while. While the guide books suggest this section  can be walked in two days we planned on a three days to complete it, and we were happy we did! 

This section is characterized by the wild and rocky Cantabrian Mountains tiny stone villages nestled in the mountains.

We climb to the historic site of the Cruz Ferro and the high point of the Irago Mountains before the steep descent down to Ponferrada. Typical Maragato mountain villages with slate-roofed houses like El Acebo. On a clear day, the mountain views are superb. The guide books all warn to be prepared for the possibility of cold, rain and wind, one day our day began with fog. 

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Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain; annual statistics

Walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

La Cruz de Ferro is a huge iron cross on the Camino de Santiago and is located between the towns of Foncebadón and Manjarín Spain, along the Camino Frances. We walked the Camino Frances the autumn of 2012, and arrived at the historic site of Cruz Ferro just before sunrise; that is Bill on the right side of the image, busy taking pictures of the people, the flags, notes and stones left by so many pilgrims before us.

The Pilgrim office in Santiago de Compostela publish statistics each year then number of pilgrims  that have received the Compostela for their walk, during the year. Bill and I plan on walking the Via la Plata; our journey is scheduled to start mid March. The Via la Plata is a longest camino in Spain, about 1000k long. We have spent the last couple of months preparing for the walk, we plan to take our time, and visit many of the historic sites, and take plenty of photos. I think the photos almost goes without saying, those who know me and a few who have been following the blog will know that the trip is all about the photography!! About 4% of the people who arrived at the Camino office in Santiago de Compostela walked the Via la Plata, just over 1% walking from Seville.

The Via la Plata is referred to as the quiet walk, as so few, in comparison to the Camino Frances, follow this route.   Many pilgrim/bloggers have written about days of walking alone. Bill and I are looking forward to the walk, and the time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We plan on leaving Seville mid March, 2014, we are hoping for good weather!