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Private (18, 15€, April to November) Albergue Alea, to the right of the RIGHT ROUTE into town shortly after it passes under a railway bridge, on Calle Teleno, signposted. Laundry facilities. Communal evening meal with vegetarian options. Breakfast. Good reports. Website www.alberguealea.com Tel 660 416 251 Open 13:00

Religious (180, donativo) Refugio de San Nicolás de Flüe, beside a big car park on the Camino, if you followed the 'official' left route it's on the right, otherwise it's on the left. On Calle de la Loma. Kitchen, laundry facilities. The original mega albergue. Website www.sannicolasdeflue.com Tel 987 413 381 Open 13:00

Private (70, 15€, March to October) Albergue Guiana, on the Camino between Refugio de San Nicolás de Flüe and the castle, on Avenida del Castillo. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Sauna. Breakfast. Oriented towards cyclists. Website www.albergueguiana.com Tel 987 409 327 Open 11:00

Ponferrada has all facilities. There are several supermarkets near the albergues and lots of restaurants and cafés near Plaza del Ayuntamiento, including Restaurante La Fonda which does a good menú del día, and Pizzeria la Competencia which does good pizzas, it's on Plaza Virgin de la Encina. Restaurante Mencía, on Calle Nicolás de Brujas, has also been recommended. Tourist Office hidden in the main entrance to the castle. Ponferrada is a popular Camino starting-point, especially in summer. Some would say the hustle and bustle of the last 100km really begins here (especially if you're here at the weekend).

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Copyright © Gerald Kelly 2024. All text and photos.