It was hard to miss the Camino exhibition in the basilica at Ponferrada (1st pic).
It was 9 December and I was feeling very tired, so after walking only half a day I turned in early at the Hostal La Gallega in Cacabelos. The next day I felt fine - it's amazing what a good night's sleep will do. I set out in good spirits, passing through the isolated village of Valtuille de Arriba (the 2nd pic shows some of its tumbledown houses) and arriving in picturesque Villafranca del Bierzo, which nestled in a sheltered valley. A rainbow arced over slopes of vines.
From there it was up into the mountains again, along a path which shadowed the valley road and the rio Valcarce. I climbed higher and higher, and eventually reached the albergue at Ruitelán, where I was welcomed by José, the hospitalero. Later 2 more pilgrims arrived - Paul from Belgium and Ezequiel from Palencia in Spain.