Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ponferrada to Valtuille de Ariba (Sep 30)

Leaving the urban area of Ponferrada we first passed through small market gardens but but beyond the village of Fuente Nuevas where we stopped for a break, it became vineyard country again. It was Sunday and many vineyards were harvesting. Groups of itinerent workers were picking and carrying basket loads onto the back of trucks. The owner or supervisors handed out large bunches of grapes to us passsing walkers and wished us 'buen Camino'. He must be in a particularly good mood at harvest time, certainly quite a contrast to the reception the night before. Earlier at Fuente Nurevas  a villager handed out freshly picked peaches. It was a fruitful morning indeed.

At Fuente Nuevas we met up again with the NZ couple we had come across several times, first at Rabanal, then again at Ponferrada where we had dinner together.. We often make such short acquaintances with pilgrims walking roughly the same speed.

The day started cool but it warmed up rapidly and we were glad to take a break at the town of Cacabelos. The sign outside a crowded bar restaurant declared Pulperia Compostella. Of course we were nearing Galicia province and the Galician specialty pulpo or octopus was making its appearance. It was Sunday, and the restaurant was crowded with churchgoers and we were lucky to find a table, and most were ordering the pulpo sprinkled with bright red paprika. I could not wait for Galicia to taste the pulpo and had one serving all to myself because K could hardly bear the sight of tbe chopped tentacles let alone eat them!

Pulpo for lunch.

 We contined through vineyards and stopped for the night at a casa rurale, in the tiny hamlet of Valtuille de Arriba. Like many such places we have been through the B&B was a nicely and quite newly renovated stone house. The owner was a very friendly (and entreprising) teacher of French af a nearby school.
For dinner we walked a few hundred metres to the only bar in the quiet hamlet, which must serve mainly by itinerant fruit pickers. By the time we got there, the bar was quiet and the only other customer were an Irish couple peregrinos staying at the same casa rurale.

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