Camino de Santiago, Day 24
Astorga to Rabanal Del Camino 10.4 Miles
This article is the twentieth in our series of walking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago with my husband Scott. Some articles will be only about one day of walking, and some may include a few days of walking, for the lengths will vary. To begin with the first article click here.
Scott and I met Blythe and Jenn in front of our hotel and quietly made our way through the sleeping city of Astorga.
There were several other pilgrims making their way out of the city as well. The October mornings were cold enough for jackets now, but it was still warm in the afternoon.
Uphill All the Way!
Our walk was a gradual uphill for over ten miles. We knew when we had planned our walk for the day, that it would be all uphill and end up being a shorter distance than most days.
At least it was on trails and not as much pavement, which helped our aching feet.
As we passed through one small town, we saw a little park. So, we had to take a break and play on some of the equipment and refill our water bottles.
Later in the morning, we stopped at the edge of a valley and looked down to see hundreds of sheep being herded by at least eight, huge dogs. Some of them appeared to be Mastiffs and they were working hard.
Donating to a Good Cause
At the beginning of a rocky, steep section of trail, stood a man with a booth set up for a fundraiser. He had a majestic hawk on his arm and for a few coins donation, we were each allowed to hold the hawk. The man was raising money for the Children’s Hospital in León.
I was very intimidated by the size of the hawk. It weighed much more than I thought it would. I was nervous it would bite one of my ears, so I passed it back to him after just a few minutes. I could imagine the headline, “Woman loses ear on El Camino de Santiago.”
After we all took turns holding the hawk, we were back on the trail. It was another one of those trails which felt like walking in a dried creek bed. We always have to take it slower to protect our knees.
Rabanal Del Camino
We entered the town of Rabanal Del Camino and made our way up the cobbled stone streets to find a place to sleep for the night. What luck, the first place we tried, a charming Casa Rural, called A Cruz De Ferro, had two rooms available. It made me feel like I had gone back in time, with rock interior walls and wood floors. Each room had a big window opening out onto the main street. So charming!
As was our habit, we cleaned up and washed our laundry, hanging it on the drying rack in front of the Casa Rural to dry in the sun.
A Pilgrim’s Lunch
The four of us spent some time walking the streets of the small town and looked for a restaurant to have lunch. Because it was still early from our short walking day, we knew we could enjoy a nice meal before siesta began.
Eventually, we came upon a restaurant that was surprisingly nice. They were serving a Pilgrim’s Lunch which included soup, a carb and a protein. Not to mention wine. Most of the Pilgrim’s meals included wine or coffee.
We enjoyed our delicious lunch and then went back to our rooms to rest our tired feet.
For me, this meant posting our latest pictures on Facebook, and checking in with our family. Jenn did the same, while Scott napped and Blythe went and had a massage for her sore body.
After a while, Jenn and I became bored and walked back to the restaurant we had enjoyed our lunch. We went to sit in the bar and play cards, but ran into Lou and Helen, our Camino friends from Texas.
Lou treated us all to a special, local, organic wine and we traded Camino stories for a long time.
Eventually, Scott woke up and joined us after his nap, and Blythe came along as well. One of Lou’s friends joined our group too, and we had a lively time!
Later, we decided to have dinner all together at the bar. It was a fun evening with lots of wine and friendship.
Ted and Eve from Texas even stopped by to say hello before they went into dinner.
Day 24 proved to be another adventure and a day of surprises.
Day 24, 10.4 Miles uphill