Below: The Cruz de Ferro the next morning, with pilgrims for scale next to the giant rock pile. Tradition dictates that you bring a rock from your home and deposit it. I brought a rock with a tiny fleck of Nova Scotian gold. Unfortunately, a lot of people just seemed to leave garbage, a lot of which was nailed to the wooden pole.

Below: Ori with the Cruz de Ferro y Basura.

Below: Manjarín, a completely ruined village. Check it out on Street View – you’ll see that I’m not exaggerating. There is notably one inhabited house, an albergue operated by Tomás, an eccentric neo-Templar/Hospitaller. It has no amenities, and we didn’t stay there, but it’s a Camino landmark.

Below: Tomás (right) chats with a pilgrim in Manjarín. Note the water tank behind.

Below: Spectacular hills on our way to Ponferrada.

Below: In the village of El Acebo (Street View). These long, overhanging balconies were an architectural feature of the region, as were the central gutters on main streets.

Below: Leaving El Acebo, charming in its decrepitude.

Below: I tried to take a normal photo of Ori squeezing through some narrow foliage, but it came out artistic.

Below: The idyllic town of Molinaseca. Why, oh why didn’t we stay here and dangle our feet in the river like these smart pilgrims?

Below: No, we had to keep going and face this in Ponferrada: the worst albergue of our Camino!

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