You must be missing Spain when you try and re-create a Spanish meal for your friends!
Last night was a tapas party for my Book Club friends. It was fun finding all the Spanish ingredients here in Tucson and, I must say, I think the end result was good. At least I had fun doing it!
Tuesday, I headed out to see if I could find things like Serrano jamon, Marcona almonds, piquillo peppers, Manchego cheese, Spanish sherry vinegar, Etc. Etc. Some things I knew I’d seen here but was pleased to find that all are available!
Wednesday, I needed to find a recipe for the famous Tarta de Santiago AND more importantly, a stencil for the St. James cross, a requirement for this special cake! Thanks to the internet, this too was no problem.
So, Thursday, I needed to put my culinary skills to the test and get the dishes made:
Cheese & Jamon plate, Spanish Tortilla, Roasted Pepper Ensalada, Mixta Ensalada, Galician scallops and for dessert mi Tarta de Santiago!
Can’t forget the ‘passport’! We collected 23 stamps on all…coffee stops, beer & lunch stops and hotels! 1st in Manjarin and the last in the hospederia San Martin Pinario (old monastery turned in to peregrino hotel).
Once at the cathedral, you begin by facing the Portico of Glory, one of the most remarkable Romanesque sculptures, by the MasterSculptor Mateo, erected in a perlod of twenty years and finished in 1188. A sculpture of the Apostle James stands on top of a column, which rises up like the trunk of a tree.
Then, from Portico of Glory you make your way to the main altar and face the gold image of St. James. In front of this, the pilgrim must carry a memento for all those who have helped him or her on their journey along St. James’Way. (This can only be done if no service is gong on.)
Then, you must go behind the altar, up several steps, until you come on a level with the Apostle’s back, and embrace him round one or both shoulders.
Finally, a narrow stairway leads down beneath the main altar to a little golden crypt, containing the Saint’s remains.
This segment of our Camino was now complete! But I can’t end this story without mentioning that the Deux Chevaux tour beat us to the square!
Today’s walk would continue on from Trabadelo to O’Cebreiro. This shows the climb we’ll need to make!
The hills were alive…
As we worked our way up to O’Cebreiro, this was the view! We went from an elevation of about 530m in Trabadelo to 1330m! Terrain was dirt, shade & rocks!
Here we’ve arrived in O’Cebreiro in time for lunch.
There are many ways to make a Camino…some on foot, some by bike and when the going gets rough, by caballo!
Today, we moved on from Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo. After lunch in Villafranca, we did another 9.5km to Trabadelo since we’d been told that trying to walk all the way from Villafranca to O Cebreiro in one day was too much!!
Weather was a little cooler today and wildflowers were replaced with vineyards and fruit trees. Santiago now only 194.5km away! Had our morning coffee in Cacabelos. Very colorful little town.
Entering Villafranca we were greeted with several Bienvenidos (both written & spoken).
Enjoyed a nice lunch in El Casino and then got on our way again! It was interesting to be reminded of Colorado as we followed the Rio Valcarce & hearing the rapids along the way to Trabadelo.
Another good day but this was probably the best sight!
Left Madrid Monday morning, a beautiful sunny morning, to start the Camino Frances. We turned off A6 from Madrid at Astorga and picked up LE142, the road known as Camino de Santiago. We explored the towns by foot & car as we worked our way west. We arrived in Ponferrada in afternoon in time to check in(Hotel el Castillo), quick rest & then out to explore Las Medulas.
Tuesday morning we headed back to Cruz de Ferro & our first full day walking the Camino. We had colorful wildflowers all the trail and snow capped mountains in the distance. Path was a combination of flat dirt, loose rocks and a small stream. The highest elevation was 1515m down to 590m when we reached the town of Molinaseca. Ponferrada is around 500m.
Made it! Siesta & then explore the Ponferrada Castilla. Dinner at great place…Palacio de Conedo.