El Acebo to Ponferrada – 17K

This entry is part 6 of 29 in the series Part 4: Astorga to Santiago to Finisterre

El Castillo (52€)

Up at 6:45 AM for a do-it-yourself breakfast.  Out at 8:15.  FREEZING!!!  We walk DOWN and DOWN and DOWN, through beautiful country.  We level out in a vast valley.  At 8.5 kilometers in Molinaseca we have C&CC and split a chocolate croissant.  We hike another 8 kilometers and finally drag into Ponferrada at 1:40 PM.  Up the street from a famous Knights Templar castle, we locate our hotel, and then seek a restaurant for lunch.  It’s down a side street and excellent.  We share an ensalada mista and each have bacon and eggs.  Back to our mildly depressing hotel for B+N, then out at 5 to explore. BAD NEWS… It is raining and it is Monday and EVERYTHING IS CLOSED!!!  The castle, the churches, the museums, the restaurants, everything!  Did I mention it is raining?  Drag back to our room at 6:30.  Nick and I are both “out of sorts” and not fit for dinner, but, then again, not into staying in our dreary room.  We march to the town’s central plazas for a drink and, lo and behold, we get complimentary tapas!  WOW! So now we have an alternate to dinner… drinks with free tapas!  Bonnie has a gin and tonic; Nick has a margarita.  On the house, we share a potato tortilla and an empanada.  The total bill is 12€, not bad.  Back to our room feeling good and clever.

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