Another relatively short day, but not an easy day because it was from El Acebo down to Ponferrada. My memory had been failing me and I thought I remembered that the descent from El Acebo down to Molinaseca was shorter than it was. It was a fairly steep descent, fairly lon,g and wasn’t exactly easy. I did actually manage to fall on my backside once as my feet just gave way on the loose surface. Very much a newbie mistake. I shouldn’t have been walking on the loose gravel, but the walk down was fantastic. Magnificent views. I intentionally took it very, very slowly because coming down steep descents like that are the thing that will trigger shin splints. Sadly, by the end of the day I felt shin splints starting to come on. But the walk was great. We went down fairly slowly. Four of us gathered down in Molinaseca for a wonderful breakfast and then it was the opportunity to walk the last 7 or 8 k’s to Ponferrada, which was not a fantastic part to walk as it is along the side of the road, but nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable walk.
In Ponferrada I had decided to get a private room in a modest hotel and take a rest day. I had planned to take a rest day here anyway, but given that my legs were sore and that I was going to be heading off into the mountains on the Camino Invierno the next day, I thought it wise to have a rest day and perhaps even go and visit a physio. So that’s the plan, rest day tomorrow. It was the final of my just three days walking on the Camino Frances. After my rest day, I’ll be heading off onto the Camino Invierno, where I expect it to be fairly isolated. Perhaps even as isolated as the Via de la Plata, who knows. But given that the Camino Frances is so busy, maybe more pilgrims will choose to walk the Camino Invierno into Santiago. Only time will tell.