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Published: October 18th 2014
After leaving Rabanal it was a long steady climb to La Cruz De Ferro, the hilltop cross at the highest point of the Camino, 1505 metres above sea level. The relevance of the Cross is that most people carry a stone or personal item to leave and it can represent an unburdening of some aspect of life for them. It is considered a significant part of the Camino. The weather was perfect and we placed our stones and moved on to Manjarin.
This is a quirky little haven with a population of 1. He moved there 21 years ago, built a shanty, and stayed. He now sells a little food, runs a small alburgue which only has hot water when he lights the fire, and we think he is a budding Knight Templar, if only it still existed. Sue caught a taxi here after walking 15 kilometres. It was always the plan as the rest of the day was very difficult downhill walking and a total of 26 kilometres.
Tim and I left the Knight and the wind and cold were looking ominous. After walking for about 40 minutes through cow fields and climbing through a wooded area, we
Spain in the morning
We had a winner with the weather!
crossed a main highway and began a steep descent into Acebo. Many people risked the road on this section as the walking was mainly on loose rocky paths and it required full concentration in order to weave a path through it all.
We continued straight through Acebo, a lovely village with stone cottages and slate roofs, all materials available locally on the tracks we had to follow. And for free! As we left town the track deteriorated into vertical slate, running parallel with the track. It was virtually a stream and you had to hop from one piece to another, or walk in the water. the slate was coated with lichen and moss and in poor weather it would be treacherous. I suppose we were lucky really.
The next village of Riego de Ambros was our last stop before Molinesaseca so we had a break before continuing down the mountain. Soon after leaving Riego, we walked into a beautiful valley and were immediately overcome by a strong scent of a mix of wild lavender, violet coloured native mint and wild thyme. It was natures potpourri and the whole valley wore this smell.these are the little surprises the Camino
brings due to the slow pace of travel and the ancient paths you take.
As we passed through this lush valley we were puzzled by the sound of many bells until we approached a Shepard and his flock of sheep, each with a bell on its neck. It made us wonder what has changed in that job in hundreds of years; possibly better footwear. Otherwise, I think this man and his dogs were continuing generations of tradition.
We passed out of the valley after an hour of slow walking with a pocket full of herbs to show to Sue. As we climbed again we could see Molinaseca in the distance, and it wasn't long before we were passing over the ancient Roman bridge into town.
After a coffee at the first bar we found, we walked another kilometre to our accommodation for a well deserved shower and rest. Later that evening we had dinner at a restaurant by the river and went to bed at about 9.30pm as we had to start early for a long day walking to Villafranca del Bierzo.
Tot: 1.459s; Tpl: 0.079s; cc: 16; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0217s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 6;
; mem: 1.3mb