Destination, Foncebadón, Tick! 27.4kms

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October 14th 2016
Published: October 14th 2016
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Well, yesterday's post was full of news and gossip from Astorga but alas all was lost when I hit Save. No internet ! Today will be better but I will give a brief account of yesterday.

Visits : Cathedral : Nice, large , grandiose .

Palacio Episcopal, Gaudi : Amazing, perfect, best thing in Astorga .

Museo de Chocolate : OK, as far as chocolate museums go, sampling was good.

We had a nice meal with a Canadian lady, Kate.very interesting.

Walked in a lot of sticky mud, very tiring on the legs.

The rest is in the pics from yesterday .

Onto today, the 14th of October. Other than the Alburgue cat that is bunk hopping (not on mine of course !), today was very nice walking. We managed a light breakfast before leaving Astorga, and passed through the sleepy village of Murias de Rechivaldo, before stopping at Santa Catalina de Somoza for coffee and a banana. The weather was clear but cold, but certainly better than 2014 , when we wandered in soaked from rain.

After a break , El Ganso, a run down village that would not exist except for the Camino, was calling. I passed straight through, but not before changing my socks and applying more vasoline to my feet. A funny feeling in a toe prompted this change; I'm not taking any chances fron now on.

It started to warm up a little and I took off my down vest. I receive occasional comments about this because it is very cold, but I prefer the bracing touch of a cool morning to being bundled up in jackets any day. At one stage I passed two German girls who giggled and said something about 'that looks different', which I thought was a reference to my fashion statement , trousers tucked into socks. After I turned and asked if it was the case, it turned out they were admiring my pole technique. At their request, l set about explaining the science of pole use, was thanked for my 'tutorial', and happily went on my way having helped two of my fellow travellers. Seriously, hardly anyone knows how to use these walking poles to their advantage .

I reached Rabanal del Camino at 11.30 and I went to a bar and bought a coffee for me and a beer for John. While I was inside the Bar, John missed seeing my pack outside, and walked on to inspect the village. An SMS and the promise of a beer drew him back and we sat in the sun with others before the rocky but enjoyable climb to our destination , Foncebadón.

While at the bar, two South Korean guys pulled up on bicycles and joined the group. They had been riding for 20 months, travelled over 30,000kms, and had started at home. What an effort! After their Camino, they were flying home from London.

The walk from Rabanal was lovely; high in the mountains, along forest paths lined with ferns. l really like the climbing and even enjoy the challenge of threading a path along the rocks and shale that covered much of the track on this section.

We arrived at Foncebadón at about 1.30pm, booked into the Druids Alburgue, and were shown to our bunk house. It has 8 beds and is currently occupied by us, two Americans, Masa, who we haven't seen for days, and a girl walking with Masa. Two beds to fill.

I'll have a shower, wash my socks, and explore the village shortly. Tomorrow is the Cruz de Ferro, where I will place some stones, and then continue through the hills and a few villages, before staying in Ponferrada.

This time, the bag of stones I'm carrying is not as heavy as last time, but in my opinion they carry more weight. I've been thinking about the Cruz de Ferro visit lately and I hope it goes as I imagine. Last time a bus load of Spaniards turned up, crawled over it like ants, and ruined what should be a significant moment on the Camino.

My new boots have made all the difference to my walking, and my Camino. It must be because they are made from medieval waterproof goretex with medieval Vibram soles. These, combined with my medieval carbon fibre walking poles, make it a true pilgrim experience. Who am l kidding?! Still, you still have to walk it. I am now less than 260kms from Santiago and, touch wood, will achieve that and Finisterre before flying home in 20 days.

I'm really looking forward to what lies ahead, but going home will be very special as well!


15th October 2016

Hi from Melton
Hi Steve, Look forward to reading your daily activities, am enjoying seeing your photos. It must be great to meet and share stories with the diverse group of People you are meeting. Hoping the Cruz de Ferro was as you imagined. Keep on looking after your feet, safe travels. Marcelle
15th October 2016

Cruz de Ferro
At the moment it's 6.30am and the snoring is unbelievable . I think it correlates with what you do the night before . Crus de Ferro will be in about 1 1/2hrs. Dawn I hope. No pics yesterday but I might try a few now, cheers
15th October 2016

Hi Steve, Am loving reading your blog and enjoying your wonderful photos !!

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