Camino ~ Astorga to Foncebadón

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Day 3 … Tuesday, 4th August 2015

Didn’t really want to leave Astorga. It’s such a pretty town built inside ancient Roman walls.

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I saw my first Camino sunset from the best seat in the house, on the Murallas, mesmerized in the final moments before twillight, the silhouettes of windmills on mountain tops.

The next morning, I lingered for a while more taking photos of the cathedral and the alleys filled with pilgrims starting early.

IMAG3549_1Met a Taiwanese girl who was happy to meet someone who speaks Chinese, who walked 4 days with a friend who gave up and went home, continued 18 days alone, lost her backpack and had a fall. Still she’s going for another 15 all the way to Santiago.

We made good progress together but she wanted to rest midpoint at Ganso and we parted.

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I felt unusually fit and pushed on one village after another. The thing about the Camino is one extra km walked today is one km less tomorrow.

So instead of stopping at Rabanal, the mountain village near Roman gold mines, I followed a group of Spanish pilgrims to the next village Foncebadón.

That’s 27km and a 500m accent to 1,400m.

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Foncebadón was broken village until the pilgrims stopped for the night to have an easier climb the following day to Cruz de Ferro, the highest point of the entire Camino.

When I arrived, all the inns were full except the last one on the hill. URGH!!! More climbing.

Didn’t have lunch, feeling light in the head, weak in the knees. Just needed a cold drink, a shower and food in that order. But there’s a queue at the registration and only one señor taking care of everything.

Patience. At least there are beds available…and WiFi…until 9pm.

Didn’t know that the internet was turned off. Suddenly everyone started talking to each other and brought back the spirit of the Camino.

Joan Yap

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