Day 31 Villadangos del Paramo to Astoria

It was strange to be leaving Leon and come across Bernard sitting in the square reading. He’s obviously been photographed many times by the look of the shiny seat next to him. I guess he’s never lonely ….

So here should be a beautiful bronze of a man on a seat with an uncanny resemblance to Bernard…..

Today has been a hard day, most of it wet, and my boots decided they would leak, wet feet does not a happy walker make. I also decided to take the “optional” route which I knew would tag some kilometres onto my day but the other route followed the main road and the wet road was not good for thinking or walking. Little did I know that the country route involved walking through about a kilometre of deep, deep, mud where men were working on putting a drainage system in. The heavy earth working machinery had to stop to allow me to pass by, the mud was like treacle and stuck wherever it touched. It was exhausting, after that came muddy hills and steep valleys and more rain. And the detour took me up to 31.2km which is getting in for 20 miles, no wonder I all in and don’t feel as if I can walk another step. Am I still smiling? Of course, but I smiled even more when I reached Astoria. It’s a lovely place but I have not the energy to don on wet boots and explore…

I did think you might like to see my new (very good natured) Spanish friend, I believe his side did win the match…… and here should be a photo of me and a local football fan…

just how lucky can a girl get? (Please ignore the sandals with socks!)

Two things have fascinated me over the last couple of days one is the many little wine houses where the wine is put to ferment, they are like something out of The Lord of the Rings. Big mounds of earth with a door and several chimneys.

The other fascinating thing is the storks nests on every Church tower, at least three on each and so close to the bells you’d think the poor storks would be frightened out of their wits…..

Today I heard my first Cook-coo, (I really have no idea how to spell the name of this naughty bird) surely a sign of spring? And so many of the spring flowers are now coming out, it would be nice if the sun would join in the party….

I have been reading my guid book which tells me that the day after tomorrow at 1,155 metres above sea level is the highest climb of the entire route. It’s not filling me with a great deal of enthusiasm right now…….

I met some great people today, I walked for a while with a German girl who now lives in Ireland, she did the whole Camino two years ago, then last year she did half, and this year she began her journey at Leon so that she will have completed two Camino’s. She describes herself as a Camino junkies day next year wants to do the coastal route. She also wants her daughter to scatter her ashes along the Camino, like Martin Sheen does in the film The Way…..

I met three French people who were debating whether to take the road or the alternate route. I loaned them my map and they too decided of the alternate route. One of the French ladies was super fit and very soon overtook me and hiked on into the distance, her two companions were left way behind and I didn’t see either of them again……

I read a little note today placed on a railway bridge, it said ” 𝙻𝚒𝚏𝚎 is a Camino”, and it strikes me to be very pertinent……

I have decided that if I stay in a little hostel or B&B, somewhere that it’s obvious that the owners couple are running it and doing everything themselves, that I will strip the bed for them just to give them a nice surprise when they come to change the room. I wouldn’t do it in the big hotels as that would be doing someone out of a job…..

After having found and returned so many things to their owners it has been my turn today to lose something – my emergency medical bracelet that is printed with big bold PACEMAKER on it. It can’t be of use to anyone else, unless they happen to have a pacemaker of course. I doubt if I can replace it on The Way, so I’ll have to take extra care climbing the big mountain the day after tomorrow…..

I have so many photos for you that I can’t upload, hoping for news from the young at home to see if they can sort me out soon…..

Now I’m going to run myself a big tub of water and try and soak all my bodily aches and pains away, if only a bath would do the same for my soul……..

Love Susan x

This entry was posted in Architecture, bereavement, churches, rain, strangers, The Camino de Compostela, the way of St James, walking and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Day 31 Villadangos del Paramo to Astoria

  1. Peter & Barbara says:

    You must be getting close to O Cebreiro which is the highest point on the Camino, so all downhill from there. It also has a Holy Grail which is considered sacred, so might at least bring some comfort. Once you are past that the path will be easier. Take care. We were in Murcia today and found a perpetual chapel open 24/7 for prayer and dedicated to Santiago. So,of course, we went in and prayed for you and your Camino.
    Peter and Barbara xx


    • Hello you two, thank you for your thoughts. I tend not to look too far ahead, a day at a time at the moment. I’m in Rabanel del Camino right now and will reach Ocebreiro in 4 days time, I also have a, rest day there. It’s snowing hard here at the moment. Thank you and much love S x x.


    • Hello you two. I tend to think of just one day at time, I’m in Rabanal del Camino at the moment and it’s snowing hard. I reach Ocebreiro in 4 days time and I’m going to have a rest day there. Thank you for your thoughts you have no idea how ‘on my own I feel’ and how much I appreciate your caring about me, much love x. X


  2. dognotforget says:

    Well beautiful lady, you are doing so exceptionally well, how fantastic that I can enjoy your encounters from the comfort of my home. I DO send you loads of warm hugs and wonderful foot massages as I read ” your story”.
    Happy climbing up that mountain tomorrow and I am sure your soul too will start to rise as you climb.
    Much love and energy xxxxxxx


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