17 miles, 1, 500 ft. ascent, 8 am to 3 pm
Gorgeous fall day with blue skies. Leaves are starting to turn to yellows and reds.
Climbing into the Sierra de Ancares mountains.
Women in peasant garb in trucks going out to pick grapes, wearing peasant scarves and dresses.
In the mountains a woman in a traditional black dress, scarf, tanned and weathered face herding big blonde milk cows with bells around their necks. Nice sounds.
Coffee break at 10 am in Villafranca over looking a river with an arched Roman bridge, castle, churches and medieval village. Sit in the sun with my new walking companion, a young Spaniard named Roberto. He walks fast also and we enjoy the day visiting about life, his girlfriend he is trying to forget. But she calls him on his cell phone several times to complain about her new life as a student in Italy. He looks totally miserable. Some young women, beautiful pilgrims, try to engage him in conversation at coffee and he is only polite to them.
Instead of choosing the route along the bottom of the valley, we go up into the mountain and descend about six miles. Beautiful chestnut forests on top, with some great views. An elderly woman herding her milk cows.
Stay in the tiny village of Las Herrerias. Hostel is 5 Euros. There are only 5 Pilgrims here but one man snores outrageously loud. Fortunately, he went to sleep in another room. Dinner of a mixed salad, three delicious fried fish, probably sardines, cheesecake and wine for 7.5 Euros.