From Leon To Pedrouza: Up and down, life in a a nutshell 😆
To walk out of Leon was just as boring as to walk in to Leon. 7 km through a huge area of industry, pavement after pavement, noisy cars, and a lot of uphill. At some time I had to walk behind some Korian pilgrims, whom walk with their walking sticks in a funny noisy way, where you hear the cliks all the time. It is so annoying to listen to. It is not only Koreans there uses the stick this way, but this morning it was them, and when you are used to the silence when you walk, then these sounds can be too much, or maybe I was just real sensitive this morning.
Patient is a the word, I had to be patient, cause these sounds will disappear again at the time where we will be apart from each other due to our different pave.
Out of the city I walked with another pilgrim, a pilgrim I also walked into Leon with, but now was the time to walk alone again. I hate to feel a pressure, when we don’t walk in same pave, and I had to tell her that. I did not feel good about telling it, and that’s properly why I felt sensitive.
After 7 km we came to a coffee bar/restaurant, and the the last part of the Meseta lay in front of us, it was so beautiful, a long meadow path filled with beautiful lavender, and yellow bushes and heather, the scent was just as wonderful as the path itself.
The silence and my thoughts filled my head and my feets seems to be walking by themselves, no rain, just a little cloudy, never had the silence been more welcome. Suddenly I was in a very small city called Oncina de la Valdoncina, and while I were having lunch, God himself sent me a lot of rain. It stopped and then I walked on toward the next albergue, but then it started rain again, and I was so wet, when I arrived at Villar de Mazarife, where I stopped for the day. In this city it was diffecult to navigate, so I got lost.. lost in a little city, ohh come on, how could this happen to me.
The albergue was cozy, but cold, but had a good bed and then Jaquline was there, she was a german pilgrim I had shared a room with before, and here was also a young Danish couple, there just had begun their camino in Leon. So it turned out to be a real nice evening.
I left the small city early next morning, total alone on the road, walking and listening to the birds there were singing, and the day was so new, that the smell of night still was hanging in the air. Wonder if you might be able to smell the air, when I am telling about it?
In front of me, I had a short walk to do, cause I wanted to stay overnight at a speciel albergue in the city Hospital de Orbiga. At this albergue, the book says they have yoga, meditation and vegetarian homecooked meals. So ofcourse that was meant for me. The city has the most romantic roman bridge and a real nice energy , but it was hard to find the albergue Verde, but I did. This place was run by 3 famililies and they offered massage and healing as well. The yoga was not very good, but the teacher did his best. The healing though was quiet nice, and the food was real good.. a real nice place to stay overnight if you are coming to this city.. I real recommend it.
Late afternoon, it began to rain again and it was raining a lot during the night and in the morning.. So I came late out walking, because I hoped for the rain to stop, remember, I was walking in sandals, and the path´s are often real muddy for dsys after the rain.. But the rain only stopped for a very little timem so there was no other to do than walk.. ohhhh It was muddy, and rainy, just one of those days, where I questioned myself why I was doing this? In the afternoon I arrived in Astorga, a medium size city, a real nice one, and the sun appeared at the sky. Came to a nice albergue and here I found Jaqueline again and later I run into Chris, Sue Ellen, and Graham. (Woow this young guy Graham keep amazing me, I never thought he would be able to walk this far, but he did and are still walking on).
I had a mission to find a jacket, because a lot of people was telling me, that it would be real cold in the mountains there was coming up, so I went to do that, not an easy job, but I succeded, it was expensive, cause the cities are making their living by us, the peregrinos money, I could properly find the same jacket to the half price in Denmark, but I needed it now, so had to pay the pric
From Astorga the days started out dry, and with a nice path out of city and within a few kilometers we came to a tiny little church, with a wonderful alter, and on their wall they had this small prayer, it says so much and it will forever be in my mind from now on.
And then the uphill to Fonchebadon was starting, it went up and down, up and down, straight, and the up , up, up through a city, and then throught a narrow beautiful path in a plantaion. The silence was noisy, even though summerbirds, bees, and birds was breaking the noise. My feet just kept walking up, up and up and then the area turned into a forest with a nice resting area, but also with a huge mudhole after the break, the muhole was enormous and I really had to climp not to sink into the mud, ha ha ha.. I must have been a real laughing sight.. 😂
But late afternoon I succeded to reach Fonchebadon almost at the top of the mountain, I found a nice albergue, and all my trouble disappeared, for heye, I did then not have to do that much uphill, the next morning, wiieeee so nice!
To be at the top of Fonchebadon, and see the“Cruz de Ferro” in a height of 1.500 m that was special, the highest point at the hole Camino, and it would have been so nice if it has been on a day with clear blue sky, but it was misty.. some people had arranged a place where we could, if we wanted to, buy some necessary food and drinks. The fog/mist did, that even though there was some people here in the morning, it was still very peaceful, and you could walk up to the Cruz and put whatever you wanted to leave there on the staf or the stone, you might have picked up.. Or if you had some mental luggage you needed to get rid of, this was a very good place to leave it behind. I sat at this place about 30 minutes in a form for meditation
And then I started my downhill trip number ????, to the next small city where breakfast nr. 2 was waiting. And futher it went to Rio de Ambros, where I eally was in need of a toilet, wooow, it turned out to be just another ghost city, and even though they had a sign with a bar, there was no bar.. so I had to use the nature for a toilet. Well that is just one of the things, you have to do sometimes at this camino. This city was really depressing, and every time I cross one of these ghostcities I am being filled with sadness.
And then it went down, down, down through a very narrow path with rocks, granite, and rolling stones, water, it was real a dangerous steep steep downhill, it was just the worst downhill on this camino until now.
And then suddenly I came to my next albergue in Molinaseca, and in this town I lost my new ring, the ring I bought in India, it was so beautiful, silver and with a lot of real gemstones, but it seemed like it just not wanted to be with me anymore, maybe it was time for me to be remembered about, that all these material things, does not mean anything in the world, for what is material stuff vs having a good health and a exiting life.. Life is so much better, when you feel good, is in good health and having a good time.
To arrive to Ponferrada the next morning, the last big city at the Camino was a bit weird, everything seemed to be closed, there was no life in the old city, and even the tourist attraction Knights Templar was closed for the day, and it was raining. Lucky me, I found an open café, and could put down my backpack, lean back and put my feet up at another chair, and just wait for church office to open at 2pm with a cup of coffee in my hand.. well life is not to complain about.
Next day I decided to find the Mc.donald, well usually I do not eat Mc.Donalds food, but somehow I really needed this kind of food, I was so sick and tired of the Spanish Camino food, so just the sign of Mc.Donald did that I suddenly had a craving for it, and then it turned out to be in a shoppingcenter, this was nice, my first shopping, real back to the normal world for an hour, with NO rain. Ohhh yes I really enjoyed this.
Ponferrada – Villarfranca, Villarfranca – laguna de Castilla O´Cebreiro to the third and last mountain top with a height of 1.275 m. It went up, up up over 15 km in rain, and as higher I came, more cold it became, stormy, misty, rainy uhhh, and at the to, by the borderline to the next area Galicia was a museum, etnografisk museum. It was nice looking, but I continued into the other side 7 km more, here my legs seemed tired. And I knew that a big downhill would be coming up the next day, so I decided that it was enough for today.
A surprice for me the next day was, that it turned out to still be walking uphill for some kilometers, before I reached a tiny place Alto do Polo, which were the highest place at this mountain 1.337m, but from here it went down the next 33 km through rain, mud, cold weather ect. Until I met the city “Sarria” The city, there now was turning the Camino into a tourist path on the last 116 km, even a lot of schoolclasses is coming on the camino here, because the students can not graduate if they have not been walking 100 km, and here they can get a certificate to show.
From Sarria, the Camino turned into a path with many many walkers and a lot of noise to abstract from. I know a lot of the real pilgrimwalkers found it diffecult to walk side by side with the tourists, and even more diffecult to accept, that the tourist could get a certificate just the same one as the pilgrims, a lot of us, did not understand that. But You have to let it go, this kind of thoughts, its not our business to judge others, and we the pilgrims, we know what we have done of both inside mental work and footwork. Those tourists will never have that feeling.
116 km is not very far, so the next days went very fast even though it was raining. I came to the white city “Palas de Rei” which was nicely sourrounded by sea and flood, It was all white throught the hole city, but before the entrance I had to do a hard downhill and when I had reached the bottom I had to walk through a bridge and then opstairs, by many steps, that was hard, but the city was so nic
As more we/I was coming near to Santiago, as more silent we/I got, and as more irritated at the tourist walkers, it was like meeting the opposite world at the camino path, a world we the camino walkers was not yet, ready to integrate.
We/I came trough many small cities, everything just went up and down and sometimes straight, through a forest with the nice scent of eucalyptus trees. We/I slept my last night within Santiago in the city Pedrouzo .
At the picturebelow on right, you will see the ung Cminowalker Graham, as I had the pleasure of being walkingsome days with. At the picture, we are having breakfast, a local speciality “Curro´s” with a warm thick hot chocolate to, we just needed to do that, cause to the description in the book!
If you want to hear about how my Camino walk ends, and how my thoughts and feelings those days, by arriving to Santiago and Finesterre were, then follow me into the next episode of “SOAP”.
In love and light, namasté 🙏 ❤ Lilly Acacia