New Day Herald

Spain & Portugal Tour 2017 | The Way of the Traveler | Day 13


Ponferrada, Santiago

Today is the day many of us have been waiting for, to walk the Camino de Santiago. The bus and luggage trucks arrive and one by one we load our suitcases, equipment cases and are whisked off to Ponferrada. Ponferrada is in the Province of León, Spain. It is completely surrounded by mountains. It is the last major town on the French route of the Camino de Santiago before it reaches Santiago de Compostela.

Ponferrada lies in the Way of St. James, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every year many pilgrims pass through the city on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Ponferrada is noted for Castillo de los Templarios, a Templar castle which is approximately 16,000 square meters. In 1178, Ferdinand II of León donated the city to the Templar order for protecting the pilgrims on the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela. However, the Templars were only able to enjoy the use of their fortress for about twenty years before the order was disbanded and its properties confiscated in 1311. Several noble houses fought over the assets until Alfonso XI allotted them to the Count of Lemos in 1340.

Next is a lovely lunch outside the Templar Castle at a tiny outdoor cafe. Lovely!!

We arrive at the last stage of St. James Way to be greeted by another 44 participants!! What an arrival and a whole new level of connection begins in integrating the dynamics of the additional group. Pilgrims go to the end of the world to release their attachments, symbolized by the burning of their pilgrimage clothes and shoes. (Nowadays there are baskets where they can dispose of the clothes they used to walk the Camino without dumping trash in the ocean.)
John preps everyone with a stunning sharing to the group before everyone partakes of their pilgrimage. The journey begins with great joy.

The tech team heads onto the Hotel de Parador de los Reyes Catolicos to prepare for the arrival of the pilgrims. It seems like moments have passed since the first pilgram has arrived. We are ready to begin the evening festivities with a beautiful dinner and videos hand selected by John. The Hotel is like staying in a castle! Stunning fortress of room after room.

It has been a long day and now it is time to get some rest.

Love & Light Julie


Touring Photos by David Sand


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1 thought on “Spain & Portugal Tour 2017 | The Way of the Traveler | Day 13”

  1. Receiving your grace, joy and loving through these wonderful pictures. Blessings to everyone as you continue to spread God’s Light everywhere you go…

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