Day 33: Astoria to Rabanal del Camino

Part two

Despite a dismal wet beginning to the day, by the time I left my lodgings the rain had almost gone and weak sunshine was beginning to break through, looking behind reminded me of the poem The Highwayman, which my mother used to read to me when I was small….

“And the road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor”. In this case it was sunlight, and okay, no moor in sight……

Only one storks nest in Brazuelo, is that lucky or unlucky, I wonder…..

I met up with my Irish friend from yesterday, the one that is completing the second half of her second Camino having walked the first half last year and having walked the whole lot the year before. She had started in Leon which a lot of pilgrims choose to do. After two days of walking she was in considerable pain from her hamstrings and her Achilles’ tendons, and was walking with some difficulty, we walked together for about an hour, then I left her at a bar to have a reviving cup of coffee and went on alone. The forecast this morning was for heavy snow, but as I walked along the sun was shining, the wind was quite cold. When I reached El Ganda, I sat in the porch of the little church, checked my maps and had some water, before continuing my journey with a lovely girl from Stuttgart. After a while she too stopped at a bar, and I decided that there might just be some truth in the snow forecast. The cars coming from the west had quite a layer of snow on their roofs….. By the time I got to the little cross at Brazuela, I could see the clouds laden with snow thundering toward me…..

And before long…..

And before much longer …. what a flattering selfies least I could have smiled…….

Despite, the snow, this beautiful little flower braved the cold and put a smile on my face……

This fence of crosses runs all the way to Rabanal del Camino……

And now I am in my little hostel. I’m in a tiny but comfortable room. With a half bath, which I stuffed myself into, knees each side of my ears, desperate to get warm and get dry clothes on. Then off for my Pilgrims lunch, which was really, really good, a big salad, which is almost unheard of in Spain, followed by roast lamb – and chips – well you can’t have it all, the price also included bread, water and wine. But the Pilgrims menus prices have been going up over the past few weeks. The price was 10€ when I began my journey, then 15€, then 18€ and today a whopping 22€. I’m wondering if this will be the case all the way to Santiago, or if this particular hostel is expensive. Bed and breakfast here is only 25€. Please note this is by no means a complaint. I can always shop at the local supermarket and buy a meal very cheaply, it just wouldn’t be a hot meal as I completely forgot to pack my micro-wave……. silly me….

A sad moment, this just wouldn’t be a truthful blog if I didn’t include the rough with the smooth. As I left the square this morning and turned the corner into quite a narrow street, I spotted a man coming toward me, he had a walking stick and was walking with an all too familiar gait, even from a distance I could see that he had Parkinson’s. As we neared each other his face pulled those, again all too familiar, exaggerated movements, his mouth twisting trying to get some words out. I am pretty sure he was trying to say “Buen Camino” but his words were running into each other. I really wanted to put my arms around him, but instead I stroked his shaking arm and said “Muchas Gracias. His word were pretty unintelligible, but I think he was asking me if I was going all the way to Santiago. I just said “Si Gracias, and he smiled the Parkinson’s smile which is almost a grimace. There is another truth to be had. If Bernard hadn’t had Parkinson’s I would never have recognised what was wrong with him. I might have thought him drunk, or even been afraid of him, how tragic would that have been both for me and the stranger……

Love Susan xx

This entry was posted in Architecture, churches, friendship, judgements, peace, rain, Rosemary, snow, strangers, The Camino de Compostela, the way of St James, walking, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Day 33: Astoria to Rabanal del Camino

  1. Barbara Brown says:

    Lovely pictures, Susan, particularly the selfie, how brave Is that to put it out there. Good luck tomorrow with your high point, stay safe and stay warm. Much love Barbara


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