Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 30 (10/22) - Foncebadon to Molinaseca (19.6km)

Breakfast was early and we were on the trail before 8am and enjoyed the beautiful skies (with setting crescent moon) before sunrise. After a fairly easy climb, we reached the highest elevation (1500 meters) of the Camino Frances at Cruz de Ferro, an iron cross atop a wooden pole and surrounded by a very large mound of stones. Tradition has pilgrims bringing all these stones up the mountain, or from home, and depositing them at this point. Last year I forgot my stone at home but brought one this year - unfortunately, I misplaced it sometime over the past few days. Ah well, guess that means I've not left my worries behind on the mountain. We continued along and then began a long descent into the valley below, nearly 3500' total descent and very steep in places. We were quite footsore when we finally arrived in Molinaseca and treated ourselves to a private room in Hostal El Horno. Molinaseca is another small but important pilgrim stopover since it is in the valley floor and just beyond the strenuous mountain crossing. After a drink next to the medieval bridge we settled down and then wandered the village looking for a comfortable place for another glass of wine and to work on our journals. The day was very pleasant and we (almost) forgot about our strenuous hike. In early evening we met two pilgrims from New Zealand (Keith and Susan) and decided to have dinner together. The recommended restaurant (Puente Romano) does not serve dinner until 7:30pm so wandered into a bar for a glass of wine. Was amazed to see two baskets of freshly picked king boletus mushrooms on the counter so admired them and had to show the bar owner pix of my finds from last summer in YNP. Then ordered a platter of boletus and bar owner recommended we have them "au naturel" so agreed but not really understanding what that meant. We received a platter of thinly sliced stems that were raw and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Wow! Really delicate and very delicious. I had never had raw wild mushrooms so this was quite a treat. Dinner at the other restaurant was okay but with hindsight we should have stayed n the bar and simply told the owner to "serve us something you think we would like".

Pre-sunset view back towards Foncebadon

Cruz de Ferro - highest elevation along Camino de Frances at 1500 meters

Steep downhill section.

View of valley where we must descend to Ponferrado in the distance.

Small village (Acebo) about half-way down.

Typical pathway (above) and difficult section (below) along bedrock.

Molinaseca - village at bottom of descent.

King Bolete mushrooms in bar and the proud owner below

Plate of thinly sliced raw king boletus mushrooms drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. WOW.

Location:Molinaseca, Spain

No comments:

Post a Comment