Rabanal del Camino To El Acebo

Day Forty Four. 20.6 K., 12.8 Mi.

Written on June 12, 2014.

The walk out of Rabanal del Camino is uphill and uphill some more! Almost 5 miles of walking uphill. We chose to walk on the road for most of the way to La Cruz de Ferro. While on the road I heard an unusual sound behind me. I turned around just in time to see two Pilgrims using their walking sticks to push a Pilgrim in a wheel chair up the steep hill. I asked them if it was ok to take a photo….they chose not to have a photo taken. As much as possible I ask for permission to include photos of people in my blog.

Cruz de Ferro has become a personalized symbol for many Pilgrims. What I mean is: some Pilgrims walk hundreds of miles with a stone or some other lightweight remembrance of home or of a loved one.

Tony Chapin was my boyfriend throughout high school. We had a son together and over the years we were friends and support for each other. In 2012 Tony gave me a Disabled American Vets Patch to place just below the cross in Cruz de Ferro. For this Camino Tony sent me a custom made bead, locally made where he lives in Alaska. I received the bead in the mail…..Tony passed away four days later. I had promised to leave the bead for him. I believe that it was his way of being a part of our journey.

The bead Tony sent me.

Placing the bead at Cruz de Ferro.

Vern placing a rock from a beach in Crescent City, California.

Barbara and Angel preparing to place their momentos.

Angel and I on our way to El Acebo.

The first sight of El Acebo.

 

Astorga To Rabanal del Camino

Day Forty Three. 21.4 K., 13.3 Mi.

Written on June 11, 2014.

Many Pilgrims that we know are leaving Astorga around the same time.

Dane walking with his cello.

Dane and a few of the crew members.

Angel, Vern, and I have all had opportunities to talk with Dane over the last couple of weeks. We have learned that the documentary that is currently being filmed of Dane walking during the day and playing the cello in the evening has been six years in the planning stage.

New today: I saw a “Pilgrim” with a skateboard! This is a first for me. At one of our breaks I heard a noise I don't normally hear on the Camino. I looked up just in time to see the skater.

“Pilgrim” skater on the Camino.

First, also today: a rainbow Camino marker!

One of my favorite places on the Camino to take a break:

The Cowbaoy Bar in El Ganso.

 

Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

Day Forty One. 32.0 K., *19.9 Mi.

Written on June 9, 2014.

*I mentioned in an earlier post that I am relying more on my pedometer than the accuracy of the mileage in my guidebook. Today we saw a woman with a spray paint can painting yellow arrows on the road in the opposite direction of the already established arrows….she sprayed silver paint over the yellow arrows already in place. I will no longer make a note that I am using the mileage from my pedometer.

Storks on top of a water tower.

I have heard many times on the Camino that you always see the same person twice. I am not sure how many times we have seen Steve Allen from Michigan but many days have passed.

Vern and Steve Allen.

Vern had just stepped outside of a bar in Hospital de Orbigo to speak to Angel on the phone when Steve walked by. Everyone has a “story” of challenge and triumph….Steve is no exception. He had been dealing with a strained leg when he had devised a system to elevate his leg in an Albergue.

A creative waymarker area.

A donation stand on the way to Astorga.

The man in the yellow shirt on the right and some friends have set up a food/beverage stand for all Pilgrims!

 

Leon To Villar de Mazarife

Day Forty., 23.1 K., 14.4 Mi.

Written on June 8, 2014.

The walk out of Leon seems longer than the walk in. Virgen del Camino, a 5.4 mile walk is the first opportunity for a cup of coffee. Many of us stop to rest and have juice, coffee, and a croissant. Shortly after Virgen del Camino it is necessary to decide: go toward Villadangos Del Paramo or Villar de Mazarife. We chose the route to Villar de Mazarife.

A Pilgrim sculpture on the way to Villar de Mazarife.

The first time I have seen this waymarker.

A plaque at the entrance of Villar de Mazarife.

Angel, Nancy, and Vern at a statue of St. James.

We are staying at Tio Pepe's private Albergue in the background.

 

Rest Day Leon

Day Thirty Nine.

Written on June 7, 2014.

This was not a planned rest day. Yesterday after arriving in Leon: Vern, Angel, and I met up with Jim from Florida. We wanted to spend some time with Jim. He walks faster than us…this was a great opportunity to see him. There was a festival in Leon. Some vendors were passing out food samples. Vern ate some chorizo from a sample plate. A few hours later he was sick. We had reserved a room for one night, not two. When it seemed that we would need two nights the receptionist said they were completely full for the next night. I did not know it but she continued to try to find us a room in “sold out” Leon. In the morning she informed me that she found us a room…just a 5 minute walk. Thank you La Posada Regia for taking good care of us.

Angel and I made sure that Vern had everything he needed. We went out looking for ginger ale. While we walked around we saw more festival activity.

Festival “Knights”.

An herb stand.

A “ride” for kids.

 

Puente Vilarente To Leon

Day Thirty Eight., 14,3 K., 8.9 Mi. (my pedometer).

Written on June 6, 2014.

We planned on a “short” day of walking today so that we could have more time in Leon, a large city, where many Pilgrims gather. On the way in I saw Amalia. I met Amalia several days ago when I was walking. We spent some time talking and walking together. I was grateful to see her today.

Nancy and Amalia.

There are many ways to keep Pilgrims off of busy roads.

Vern walking on a pedestrian overpass on the way to Leon.

As we were crossing the road into Leon I saw what seemed to be a checkpoint. As we walked closer it was a Pilgrim greeting station. The greeters were the Guardia de Civil, (police). They were offering a sello, (stamp), and a map.

A Pilgrim, Vern, and the greeters.

Not far behind us in line was a Mom and four children from New Zealand. I spoke with her for a few minutes. Her and her children are walking for charity. Check out their blog: http://charitywalking.wordpress.com/

The Mom, third from left, and her four children.

The back of the Mom’s backpack.

When we entered Leon we walked into a festival!

Musicians in Leon.

A parade of donkeys in Leon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bercianos Real Camino To Puente Vilarente

Day Thirty Seven. 34.6 K., 21.5 Mi. (my pedometer).

Written on June 5, 2014.

The walk today had many benches, some shade and Pilgrim rest stops. There were long stretches in between bars and cafés.

A house built into the hillside.

A statue of St. James on the way into Reliegos.

The wall around Mansilla De Las Mulas.

I noticed today that I had to remind myself to look up. We knew at the beginning of the walk today that we would be walking many miles. I tend to keep my head down, mainly not to trip on rocks. When I do look up I am amazed at the beauty of the sky, landscape, and spring flowers.