Day 28 - Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

Date: June 1, 2015

Location: From: Astorga To: Rabanal del Camino

Mileage: 20.6 km

Weather: Cloudy and overcast and slightly warm but nice day to walk

Temperature: 56° F at 6:00 a.m. and 70° F at 5:30 p.m.

Lodging and Cost: Hostel Refugio - 35€

GPS Location: ’42.482439” N and ’ -6.285066” W

Highlights: Great walk early this morning and meeting a lot of people along the way.

Summary of the Day:

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and just laid there for a few minutes thinking about some of the issues on the trail from Astorga to Rabanal for the past couple of months and now I’m here with decisions to be made. Back in April there was a woman abducted in this area and she has not been seen or heard from since. Additionally, there have been several more attempted attacks. The national Police as well as the Civil Guard are investigating all of this. I know from my hiking experience that something will happen on the trail and then a story gets out and as the story is told it grows to greater proportions, so you have to evaluate everything at the moment and evaluate fact from fiction. The local authorities are telling people not to walk alone through this section. Well I usually get up before daylight and hike early by headlamp because I enjoy the peace and solitude and it also gets me ahead of the crowds. This is where I have to decide on what to do.

I had thought about it all and I left at 6:30 just as it was barely getting light so I would be able to see a little better in the distance and that there might be a few people on the trail. Well I guess everyone was thinking like me and when I hit the streets of Astorga there must have been about 20 people in front of me and more coming. It turned out that everyone that I talked to wanted to get this section over with. It was a great walk and even though it’s warming up, the skies were clouded over and there was a light breeze which also helped keep it cool.

I hadn’t walked for more than 20 minutes when I came up on another Peregrino and we started talking. He was from Italy. We had the best conversation for at least 45 minutes. We talked about trails in his country and the Appalachian Trail in mine, which he knew of. A few years ago he read the book’ “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. It was funny to hear his impression of the A.T. From his understanding, bears attack often, there are cougars on the trail, and further there is no place to re-supply very often. He further thought that you don’t see people very often. It was interesting to see how much others know about us. Soon he took a break and I moved on.

The trail today was very flat and the walk was very easy. It seemed like the kms were just passing by quickly as there wasn’t too much to see that we haven’t seen already. It’s fun walking along. It gives you time to think about things and get lost in your thoughts. It wasn’t long before I came to Santa Catalina de Somoza where I saw a Bar/café so I decided to stop in and have something to drink. Believe it or not, I really wanted a cup of tea and not café con leche. Just as I was coming out to sit down, my new buddy Craig from Australia that I had met a few days before, came in. We talked and he told me that he was having some knee problems. When we finished we started walking together and walked together to Rabanal. When we got in town he ask me where I was staying and I told him in the Hostel Refugio for 35€ and he decided that he would also stay there and got a room as well.

The rest of the day went well and at 6:30 that evening Craig and I met and went to the restaurant for a good dinner. I had a salad, which I always have when possible as it’s just about the only veggies that I get, although I have starting letting them leave the tuna on and I’m now eating tuna everyday. I still have either steak, pork, or chicken, but not the seafood. I’ve been told don’t eat the Paeilla before I get to the coast or at least in more costal areas as it’s just frozen. I’m doing the same thing for the fish, and believe it or not pescado (fish) isn’t showing up much anyway. I do plan to try fish when I get out to the coast. The big fish on the menu seems to Hake. It’s supposed to be a mild non-fishey fish. I hope so.

Well after dinner we were both pretty tired so we went to our separate rooms and figured we see each other somewhere along the trail tomorrow. We pass the Cruz de Ferry tomorrow. That’s a large cross on the trail and everybody puts a stone at the base, says a prayer and then moves on. Craig said that he is going to spend a little bit of time there as his mom died 50 years ago this year, when he was just two years old. While he’s not Catholic and not extremely religious, his 82 year old dad is both Catholic and somewhat religious and wanted him to put a few special things down at the cross and remember his mom. So he brought a few things of his mom’s to put there. I figured I’d get out early so he could hike alone for a while.

All in all, today was a really great day. I’ve continued to hear singing for the past few days coming from my shoes and it’s my little fat swollen toes as they are singing praises to Salomon, the shoe company. My new Salomon shoes have been making my feet feel really good and so far no new pain or blisters. I just hope it continues. Will keep you posted. So as always…Buen Camino.

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