Day 27 - Villadangos Del Paramo to Astorga

Date: May 31, 2015

Location: From: Villadangos Del Paramo To: Astorga

Mileage: 28.5 km

Weather: Beautiful blue skies with no clouds until later in the day then it clouded over, but no call for rain.

Temperature: Upper 50s° F at 6:00 a.m. and in the mid 70s° F at 5:00 p.m.

Lodging and Cost: Gaudi Hotel – 50€

GPS Location: ’42.457419” N and ’ -6.056135” W

Highlights: Looking down on Hospital de Orbigo from up on the bridge. Climbing back up onto a mountain summit just beyond Santibanez de Valdeiglesia and not hearing the road or traffic in the distance.

Summary of the Day:

Woke up at 5:00 and finished packing and getting ready to leave at first light. I’ve pretty much stopped leaving before I can make out the blazes without a headlamp. I have found that you spend just about a much time looking around to find the trail as you do by just waiting an extra 15 minutes. When I left the hostel I had to unlock the door with my key to get out and drop it in a box, but after I unlocked the door the key wouldn’t come out of the lock no matter how much I tried, so I finally had to just close the door and leave the key hanging in the key hole. The key was hanging inside not outside so no one could tell that the door was unlocked.

The trail left the small village and headed back out to the path that followed the road. It wasn’t bad because there wasn’t any traffic. I came up on a woman walking alone so we started to talk or attempted. I asked her where she was from and she said Roma Italy and I told her I was from the States. We were talking in cross languages. She could speak a little Spanish, because Spanish and Italian are similar I believe, and a little English. In the end we spoke a little English and Spanish and it worked for a while. After about 30 minutes of going back and forth we both knew that we had reached the limits of both our language skills of the topics we were talking about. At that point she slowed down a little and I sped up a little and we drifted apart.

When I got to Hospital de Orbigo and stopped in to get something to eat and drink and shortly after she came in and we sat together and had breakfast. After I finished I said "Buen Camino" and left. It was really interesting seeing Hospital de Orbigo again. I stayed at the Albergue San Miguel two years ago when I was coming through. I ended up staying two nights as they were having a festival and the whole town was filled up. And now today it was empty and I only saw two people from town and four hikers passing through.

After leaving town the trail did a split. There was one of those option trails that you can take. Two years ago the option trail,went to the right and the official Camino trail went straight, but now it’s just the opposite. I’m really glad about the change because it would have put me back on the path near the road and this way I got to head off toward the mountains. It wasn’t a high mountain, but it was back in the woods and it was quiet with some nice views. I was able to walk that for over 6 kms before I starting heading into a suburb of Astorga and then I was back on a city street again. It was about 2 kms to the actual entrance to the city, but it wasn’t a bad walk. It was a lot better than Burgos. I finally got to the city.

I really like this town, and I remember my way around the city and I didn’t have to hunt with each turn. As I came into the city I came in to the main plaza and there sat Mike from Canada. He had just gotten in and was sitting in one of the outside restaurants drinking a beer. He saw me just about the same time as I saw him. I stopped and we talked for a few minutes and the I headed to the hotel to check in and get cleaned up. It had been a great day. After I got cleaned up I went back out to go to the museum and to the Cathedral to go get some pictures, but the big disappointment of the day was that both were closed as it was Sunday. Who would have guessed that a church, for that matter a cathedral, would be closed on Sunday? Well they were. I walked around and saw a few of the buildings from the outside.

Probably the next disappointment that I had today was my dinner meal. I looked around for a place with a Peregrino Menu that I wanted and found the Hotel Asturplaza Restaurant. Well I went in and they seated me but then no one came to wait on me. I sat for about 15 minutes, and I will say that we're busy, but I waited a long time and that was just to get the menu. Finally the hostess brought me the menu and went away, then in a few minutes came and took my order. She later brought my salad, but when I finished that the regular waiter came and took my plate and asked me what I wanted for desert. I told him that I hadn’t had my second course yet. He went away without saying another word. Soon I got my meal and ate. It wasn’t good, but I finished and paid so I could get out of there. I would not eat there again, even though they could just be having a bad night.

Even with the little disappointments in town it was a great day, good weather, good trail, and some good conversation. Tomorrow and all the rest of the day's should be this good. And with that I’m going to say…Buen Camino!

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