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Foncebadón to Ponferrada stage
At this stage is the highest point of the entire French road
Information about the stage 22: Foncebadón to Ponferrada stage
Points of interest in the stage 22: Foncebadón to Ponferrada stage
- Km 0. Foncebadón (Hostels. Bars. Store)
We say goodbye to Foncebadón street above, between fallen walls and the church, whose spaghetti always receives the first lights of the day. At the exit we take the road from the left, which on a smooth slope brings us to the road LE-142, our guide in today's stage (Km 1,5). Along a path parallel to the road, which advances with some sketch of repopulation, we reach the Ferro Cross. Located at an exact 1500 meters altitude (the roof of the French Way in Spain), it is only a small iron cross auptioned by a disproportionate wooden mast. Behind your back to the cross is tradition to throw a stone to the already raised pile. A calm gesture made by the Galician reapers when they moved to Castile to work in the cereal fields and also the arriers and the transhumant pastors (Km 2.2).
A chapel dedicated to Santiago Apostle was erected by the cross in 1982. From this point on, we resumed the path parallel to LE-142. Serbales de Cazadores (Sorbus aucuparia), a deciduous tree easily distinguished by its thick bunches of red berries, throw our steps. Two kilometers and three hundred meters after the Ferro Cross we are planted in the refuge of Manjarín, the most peculiar hostel of the Camino managed by Tomás Martínez, the Templar hospital. The stinging of a bell and the smoke signals lead us inside. The indoor environment is better to discover by yourself.
- Km 4,5. Manjarín (Hostel. In season Mobile bar between Manjarín and El Acebo)
Just over 7 kilometers separate the refuge of Manjarín from El Acebo. Except for a curve that is bound, the itinerary always runs parallel to the road. During the first 3.5 km, it was lowered and even slightly increased, leaving aside the Military Transmission Base, located under Peña Llabaya and abandoned in 1990. A kilometer later from the Base actually begins the descent with a view of Ponferrada (from the distance there is a black spot corresponding to the Rosaleda tower over 100 meters). In this section there is the mobile bar La Parada, which usually opens from April to the end of October! The path is stony and on a steep slope (cyclists are recommended to go down the road). After these seven kilometers, the Camino is presented in El Acebo, the first town in El Bierzo.
- Km 11.6. El Acebo (Hostels. Hotel. Bar. Store)
Juan Uría documents that the residents of this town were tax-free in exchange for placing eight hundred stakes to indicate the way to the travelers. In this Bertian nucleus surrounded by hot springs and pastures, a hotel, a shop where to buy snacks and a meson allow a parentheses in the stage we have already completed in more than 40%. Leaving El Acebo we came across a graphic sculpture made by Eulogio Pisabarros in memory of Heinrich Krausse, a German pilgrim who died making the Camino. Rest in peace.
Previously it was followed by road for almost two kilometers to Ambrós Irrigation. It continues to be asphalt, but a path that is taken 1.3 km after the crossing to Compludo and that avoids a road section has been enabled. Finally, as in the past, the parallel path is taken to reach the population. We traverse Irrigation of Ambrós from end to end (this population of the municipality of Molinaseca is about 600 meters long), passing next to Plaza San Sebastián, where is the hostel of pilgrims and the fountain.
- Km 15. Irrigation of Ambrós (Hostel. Bar. Store)
Slate roofs and wooden balconies give way to a path, descending under the shade of the chestnut trees and the freshness of the Prado creek. Already in the open field we arrive again next to the road (Km 16.4), which we leave again to start a tortuous descent that will leave its mark on our muscles. Along with some chopsticks, fed by the stream of the Pretadura, we reached the LE-142 (Km 19.2).
At the foot of the road is the Shrine of the Virgen de las Angustias, at the end of the 17th century, which gives way to the medieval bridge over the Meruelo River, through which we enter Molinaseca. This town, capital of the municipality that also includes El Acebo and Irrigation de Ambrós, has a good network of bars and restaurants, pharmacy, bakery, etc.
- Km 19.7. Molinaseca (Hostels. Hostels. Bars. Shops. Pharmacy. ATM)
We cross the village through Calle Real that leads to Fraga Iribarne Avenue, next to LE-142. We passed the hostels and left the road company behind a tennis court. We turn right and take a path that progresses near the Meruelo River. Look, because when you get to the road (Km 22.5) you don't have to continue along the side walk to the Patricia urbanization. A bit hidden beneath the left shoulder of the road signals the right direction. A runway with some slide, annoying at this stage heights, leads to Campo.
- Km 24. Country (Bar)
Already populated in the Middle Ages, Campo has a Roman fountain, the chapel of the Holy Christ, the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Encina and the manor houses of the Lunas. We leave Campo next to the valley of the river Boeza, which flows to the right. Several slums escort us to cross the river (km 26,4) and four hundred meters later we saved the roads to finalize the twenty-second stage shortly. Ponferrada and the parish hostel of San Nicolás de Flüe receive us.
- Km 27.3. Ponferrada (All Services)