May 16th, 2018. Astorga to Rabanal del Camino. Camino de Santiago.
I walked today, starting the elevation to Cruz de Ferro / Alto de Cerezales. I’m currently at about 1150 m and the mountain stands at 1400 m. It is the highest point on the Camino. I will be there lay my stones at Cruz de Ferro tomorrow.
It wasn’t a bad walk physically today. I took it slow. The walk itself was rather boring actually and not very pretty scenery. (I didn’t take many photos today). It was very scrubby with lichen growing over the dead trees. It reminded me a lot of Texas. Ironically I was walking with a woman who had just moved to the Austin area about a year ago.
I was glad to have followed the advice of Camino friends, Jerry and Sharon, who recommended this lovely albergue. Because of my bloody incessant cough, I am in a private room. I didn’t want to stay in a dorm and have stuff tossed at me to shut up in the middle of the night or have daggers thrown at me tomorrow on the Camino.
It’s nice to have space of my own. It’s another thing I’ve discovered about this journey for me. I prefer walking the Camino with people each day, the conversations make the time go faster, but boy its nice to have quiet at the end of the day.
I ended the day going to evening vespers with Gregorian chanting by the Benedictine Monks.
It was meditating. It was in Latin and I’ve not exposed to vespers before, so I did not understand it but it was lovely and calming. I sat and listened to the chanting with my eyes closed, sitting in a church that is over 500 years old and slowly turning to rubble.
I am tired tonight.
Mostly because of the 20km climb and the coughing fits. I hope I can find the strength to climb the next mountain in a few days – I’m determined to – because from there, it’s the ‘home stretch’ – about 150km after that mountain wander. (I still have 230km to go from here, in Rabanal).
Where I Stayed: Posada El Tesin
Would I Recommend it? Yes, but don’t hand over your laundry to them. You’re bound to lose a pair of socks, or three (as I did). There is no set pilgrim meal, but a café where you can order food ala carte. The simple breakfast options are delicious, as is the soup served in the evenings.