Rabanal del Camino to Ponferrada


We really enjoyed the charm of Rabanal. There was a little stone chapel across from the Hostel.

The little chapel seats about 20. It has real candles too not the electronic vigil lights most churches have installed.

It’s a rugged road today. We are walking to Cruz de Ferro, one of the highest points on the Camino.

Mountainous and scenic, a whole new terrain with lots of scrub plants and wild flowers.

Foncebadon is in the mountains at about 4700 ft. We liked the energy here … kind of hippie central. It has been influenced by the Maragato culture which was derived from Berber tribes in Morocco. The building style is stones with wooden balconies. The ruins are many centuries old.

This is Carlos. He works at this Albergue in Foncebaden. He doesn’t speak English. He made our lunch today. Terry had a bocadillo and a bag of chips, I had the “special salad” with tuna.
This is Kim from Key West, Florida. She is an artist. She sold her art gallery and everything she had. She is exploring the possibilities of moving to Spain.

Rugged road and lots of uphill.

This is the road to Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross). For centuries, pilgrims have been bringing a stone from home that held their burdens to leave at the cross.  It has created a hill around the cross that continues to grow.

It was nice to visit Cruz de Ferro when no one else was around. It has the feel of a sacred monument.

This is the little chapel by Cruz de Ferro.

Beautiful area with mountains, a lot of scrubby bushes and wild flowers. Makes me think of the Wild Wild West.

Next stop after Cruz de Ferro is Manjarin. This is a funky Albergue. A little too funky for us.


 The Manjarin Albergue was run by Tomas, who fancies himself as the last modern day Templar. This is his processional statue at the entrance of the Albergue. The real turn off was no showers and an “open air latrine.” No thanks.


This is Moon from Sol, Korea. She was seriously thinking about staying at the Manjarin Albergue. She walked round a little and then we heard the sound of a chain saw. She came out quickly and decided to move on with us.


Over the hill came the cavalry — there were eight pilgrims on horseback with a guide. Shortly after a big “sag wagon” truck loaded with bales of hay came through. What a beautiful place for a horse ride.

Next, were on to Ponferrada, which I don’t have many photos of because it’s a big city and there wasn’t anything special about it. It does have a giant castle from the 11-14th century. The Templar knights were given it in 1107 to guard the road to Santiago. They have made some alterations to it.

Street corner in Ponferrada.

The most exciting thing about Ponferrada was my breakfast. On to Carabelos.

Published by janeinspain.blog

Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

2 thoughts on “Rabanal del Camino to Ponferrada

  1. I love the little chapel by Cruz de Ferro!! how gorgeous is that. I’ve no doubt you come across quite a few of those. As for the funky albergue…..Uhm yes, rather…chainsaws??? a little bit Clockwork Orange yes!! Buen Camino. the breakfast looks amazing


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