Feb 26, 2018. Day XXII

Trasa: Ponferrada – Trabadelo
Dystans: 34 km (Razem: 568 km)

It has been a long day and full of adventures. Initially we planned to cover a shorter distance. Because of the coming weather front we want to clear the next mountain range before it catches us. Speaking about the weather I can see that in Poland the winter is in its full swing. In some parts of Spain they got quite a snowfall as well, like Barcelona, or heavy storms in the Canary Islands.

Well, we have had 9 straight days of sunny weather on our Camino. What a Blessing!!

Leaving Ponferrada we also enjoyed the beautiful weather. What struck us was the exciting setting of the city surrounded by mountains and the best Camino markings we have seen so far.

I warned Henry this morning that next to a long distance today there will be some nice surprises along the way, such as wine tasting.

After the first 9 km we reach one such winery. What a great feeeling! We both down a glass of wine and have some pinchos, i.e. Spanish lunch snacks that are common here.

Viñas del Bierzo Vineyard. Film

Next week walk a few kilometers through wine fileds. Ever since we left the region of La Rioja many days ago we have been missing the view. Though the vineyards are generally still before the blooming season today I noticed quite a traffic in the field today. A few workers were doing some trimming of the shrubs all collecting them.

A sign indicating less than 200 km to Santiago de Compostella also caught my attention.

We stop at Cacabelos for lunch at a restaurant called La Moncloa. I usually ask in new places for the recommendations by the waiters. And this is what we chose: Cecina con queso y aceite (beef carpaccio with goat cheese) for first course, and Botillo de La Moncloa (pork a la Moncloa) for the main course. Both dishes were excellent. More details on the pictures below.

We dare to order chestnuts for desserts. The taste is not bad, but it is more of an exotic feeling than pure joy to my palate.

Taking the opportunity I ask the waitress about the titlte of one of the songs we hear. She says it is from her playlist. I appreciate her music taste. The array of songs was added to the wonderful dining ambience of the place.

La Moncloa restaurant. Film

Our lunch and the welcoming ambiente made us overstay a bit our welcome at the place where we spent two hours. It would not be an issue but we had still about 20 km to walk. We will have to apply ourselves a bit to get to our next destinaion before the sunset.

On our way I see an interesting things I had seen before. This is a Cross with Christ and some other person standing on the other side. Upon closer inspection it seems to the person behind is St. James (Santiago).

After lunch the road begins to wind up gradually. Again we walk through some vineyards. It is the warmest day on our Camino so far. It is 19 C in Villafranca del Bierzo. We can’t wait to reach that city, cause our water bottles are empty and we are very thirsty.

Vineyards of Villafranca del Bierzo. Film

Finally we reach Villafranca del Bierzo. We are very happy hoping to find a place to drink something even though it is not the finish for today yet.
Suddenly we get to a sign that says Calle del Agua, which means Water Street. But where is a supermarket? We get to a DIA supermarket. It is 4:55 pm. They will open it in a few minutes after siesta. Since we can’t wait to have something to drink we go to a bar first with an intention to come back to the supermarket to get a few essentials later on.

Cold beer in Villafranca del Bierzo. Film

Tak. Dzień bez lodów, to dzień niepełny w trakcie tej pielgrzymki. Takie sobie robimy drobne nagrody. W sklepie były tylko opakowania zbiorcze. Wziąłem więc „magazynek” takich pomadek lodowych marki Magnum. Mniam, mniam. Oczywiście, po 5 na głowę, żeby nie było, że sam.

And then there are the cats. In the morning I see three white cats. In the evening I see three black cats. Can anybody explain the significance of this?

Pilgrims singing. Film

During the last 4 km the battery in my almighty watch tha I have used so far went dead. Because of this some of the statistics will be out of whack. I will try to adjust them manually.

We get to Trabadelon just after sunset at 7:25 pm. What a day!

Today is the end of the third week of my Camino. Here is a bunch of statisics.

I have walked so far almost 800 k steps and climbed over 400 storey last week.

Medytacja XXI. Language.

In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right
James, 3, 5-10

For a few years now I have had the Litany of Humility and the third chapter from St James letter hanging in front of me in my office. It has been there pro memoriam.

I recommend reading the whole third chapter from St James. I only quote part of it above.\

They say that speech is silver and the silence is gold. How difficult is it not to sin while speakin?!

Sitting last night at a restaurant in Ponferrada I, involuntarily, could hear a conversation full of words and curses at a table next to mine. This was dominated by a well-dressed yet drunken Spanish lady.

Being able to understand a foregin language in moments like that is almost like a curse.

Anyway, her brutal language gave me an inspiration to meditate on my own usage of language. I think the easiest thing would be to go on a verbal diet. I do not know how my closest ones would deal with it though?

All in all I wish to religh the moment to cherish the silence and expect less from words.

So conlcuding please find two bonus quotes on the subject from the Old Testament:

The tongue has the power of life and death
Proverbs 18, 21

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut
Proverbs 10, 19

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