Villar de Manzarife to Astorga – 34.8km

6:30 brings layers of clothes with rain gear on the outside for the clothing apparel of the day. Drizzle when we leave and 50F and pretty much stays at 50 all day. But the drizzle turned to a light rain and then back and forth until noon. Which would have been okay except winds up to 30mph straight on or to a slight angle. Chilly to say the least. About noon the skies change color to a light grey and it stops raining. Yeah! BUT the wind gets tougher! Put your head down and forge forward.

It is amazing what a little thing such as wearing plastic bags on your hands can make one much more comfortable. As a result of the rain and being Sunday, we walked 15 kilometers before stopping for breakfast around 9 am. This very pleasant bar ‘Le Puenta’ had good food and the owner even gave us a lollipop.

Whimsical things along the way.

We passed through Hospital de Orbigo and a gothic bridge over the river Orbigo. This bridge is the site of a legendary medieval jousting competition. Don Suero de Quinones was a wealthy knight from León who was rejected by the woman he loved. As a result of his heartbreak, he had an iron collar secured around his neck and swore he would not remove it until he had bested 300 knights in jousts. The call went out and knights from all over the kingdom came for the Holy year 1434. Quinones succeeded in his quest freeing him from the torment of love. He took off the collar and made a pilgrimage to Santiago where he left a bejeweled bracelet which can still be seen in the cathedral museum. The bridge is now known as El Paso Honoroso, The Honorable Pass. (Story from Camino de Santiago-Village to Village Guide, Anna Dintaman and David Landis)

We slugged another 15 km to Astorga where we had to walk over an extensive ramp to cross the railroad tracks.

This is about the extent of wildlife we have seen with the exception of a dead rabbit and some birds.

About 5km out of Astorga both of us are having foot or ankle problems. We decide not to stay at the first albergue but walk through town scouting out a dinner place and snacks for the next few days.

Another set of Roman ruins across from the first albergue.

Roman Mosiac in Astorga

Run into a Stephanie from the states whose son did the Camino last year. She had lots of questions the first being are you peregrinos and are you from the states! After about 15 minutes we beg off to get to our albergue and rest our feet for a few minutes. Head back out for pictures and are greeted with a severely overweight man laid out on the sidewalk being administered CPR by a large team of paramedics.

The Astorga cathedral. The cathedral here is magnificent as are so many here in Spain.

Palacia de Gaudi – Musea de Los caminos

Near the cathedral is the Palacia de Gaudi. Anton Gaudi died in 1825 after designing many buildings, statues and the masterpiece in Barcelona, Le Sagrada Familia. When we visit Barcelona there will be a lot more of Gaudi. (Kris—this is the second town where Gaudi was a huge influence, the other being León.).

Reenactment finished just before we got to town and the reenactors are walking around looking mostly for food to eat or a place to eat.

This statue is in our Albergue San Javier.Dinner is not until 6:30 to 8pm so we hit the supermercado for dinner.

We are tired and saw that rain is on the schedule again tomorrow. Time for an early night.

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