Astorga to Rabanal del Camino – Day 22

Shell Marker

Leaving Astorga was a pleasant walk on good path.  It took me past a small Ermita, where I was able to have a bit of prayer time in a most humble setting.  For that, I am most thankful.  In fact, the entire day seemed to be quite personal, quite relaxing.  The landscape has truly changed now.  I was into the foothills of the mountains that will predominate the landscape for the next week.  This may be my last day of a relaxing walk.  Harder trails are ahead.

Town by town I worked my way. The weather was pleasant and I was most preoccupied with the gorgeous landscapes and the quant villages that I passed through that seemed to bear a considerable amount of Maragato influences; the ancient ethnic people who still populate this province.  In good order I reached my destination of Rabanal del Camino by noontime and settled into a most agreeable Albergue. Continue reading Astorga to Rabanal del Camino – Day 22

Villar de Mazarife to Astorga- Day 21

Iglesia de Santa Marta

This day turned into something I was not expecting, but by know I should trust a little more in God’s constant work in my life.  I’m on some timetable of His that seems to require a bit faster pace sometimes than I would like; but then again, not having free will, I should just grin and bear it.  And so I did; with enthusiasm.

 I left the Albergue Tio Pepe with an optimistic spirit.  My feet seemed to be holding together, though my right foot, big toenail, is now going black & blue like two other toenails on that foot.  I have a feeling a doctor is in my future.  Anyways…. I left the Albergue, thanking my hostess.  Once outside and on my way, I began to think about that hostess in the sense of applying her into an ongoing discourse that has rattled through my brain for some time.  In part, it is why I became a Catholic this past Easter Vigil.  The subject of discourse and contemplation?  What is the necessary structure – the ideological union of conditions of the human mind, body and spirit – for true faith? Continue reading Villar de Mazarife to Astorga- Day 21

Leon to Villar de Mazarife – Day 20


My last night in Leon and I was clearly ready to get back on the Camino.  I’d rested my feet long enough.  They’re not in great shape, but much better than when I arrived.  I turned in – lights out – at 10:00pm, with a wake-up at 5:45am.  Packed my backpack that evening; carefully inventorying what I had and what I needed.  All in order.  I’d take care of my feet infirmities in the morning, so I left out the medical tape and scissors.  Now I needed just one more thing…. perhaps all of Leon could quit partying out there on the streets of the old city.

Well, that was not to be had this evening.  This was a festival weekend, and all of the nearby streets to the Leon Cathedral were full of people.  And when I say they partied all night, I mean all night.  On a couple of occasions  I awoke; at about 2:00am, then again at 3:35am, and once more about 4:15am.  Each time I was melodiously met with people’s voices, shouts, and mutual singing.  At the earlier times, there was even live music in the streets; calling us all to a Leonese conga line.  I swear at one moment I heard the “clickity click” of at least 1000 senoritas working their castanets.  I was seriously  tempted to join in this nocturnal madness, but took some measure of my future daybreak and task ahead.  I slept on. Continue reading Leon to Villar de Mazarife – Day 20

Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon – Day 19

Shell Marker

My walk onto Leon in the morning was, in one sense, a time to relish the thought that I would be staying here for a few days.  My feet needed attention and a thorough drying out.  Between the blisters and the wet boots that promoted what I have been told is probably trench foot, they needed the care.  In another sense coming into Leon is a bit of a milestone.  The few days I will be staying here will allow me the time to reflect on things thus far, and try to get them in order and well as make some sense of them.

It was a sense of relief when I saw the distant rooflines of Leon; knowing in another hour or so I’d be either registered at a simple hotel, or I’d be in the Municipal Albergue should there be no hotel rooms available.  You can imagine my feelings when I secured a small room with a roof skylight view of the famous Leon Cathedral just two blocks away.  I had indeed been fortunate. Continue reading Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon – Day 19

El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas – Day 18

Cross Monument

The next two legs of my journey are short in length; about 12 miles each leg or 20 kilometers.  I thank the Lord for such conditions as my feet are in full rebellion; both baby toes suffering and blisters underneath my heel pads.  I can’t put pressure on the front of my feet or the back when I walk.  I guess I’ll just float.  Luckily both days – besides being relatively short – are also on good paths that parallel to the main, country road.  Also I am fortunate that this day is somewhat cloudy and cool.  It doesn’t look like rain, but who knows?  I’ve got my backpack in its waterproof covering.

The day before, and happily after I got to my Albergue in El Burgo Ranero, the sky let loose with an afternoon downpour of rain, which became hail with a side dish of thunder and lightning.  My empathy was deeply with those pilgrims still walking out their day’s journey.  You’ve put down about 10 miles, you’re getting tired, and then you get to be pounded by a chilling, hail storm.  Remember, there’s no shelter but your poncho. Continue reading El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas – Day 18