Total Distance: 20 km
Total Time: 6h
Total Euro: 9/person*
Route: Astorga to Rabanal Del Camino
We both awoke after a very pleasant sleep. There were no snorers in our room last night and everyone was quiet and respectful. Plus, there was a blessed, unspoken agreement to leave the window open, so it was actually cool enough to sleep.
We shuffled out into the street and began the slow and steady ascent up our first set of mountains. Neither of us were in much of a hurry and we were both in a mood to hang out, so we stopped at pretty much every town on our way to Rabanal. At the first stop we ran into a pack of Brazilians that we’ve been on the same schedule with since Leon. We continue to marvel at how many of them there are and how they manage to all stay together (there’s at least 20 of them). At the last stop before Rabanal, we ran into our San Diegan friends and walked the rest of the way with them. L is a geologist by training, so she pointed out the various changes in rock formations as we made our way up the hill.
Once in Rabanal, we had to wait about half an hour for Albergue Guacelmo to open. When it did, we were pleasantly surprised by the facilities. I guess they’ve been fixing it up for a while and it’s run by three English volunteers, who rotate in and out on a regular basis. The volunteers are very kind and accommodating – they’ve been quick to offer us assistance around any number of things and even served proper tea and biscuits at 4:30! Almost everyone staying at the albergue attended and it was a nice way to interact with and talk to people. The kitchen and laundry facilities are nice and they have a beautiful herb garden and lawn area out back. The rooms are small and intimate and they don’t accept large groups. E says they have a fancy coffee maker, so maybe breakfast will be really awesome as well.
Since our San Diegan friends will be putting in two 30 km days starting tomorrow, we decided to meet them for dinner for one final hurrah before parting ways (*A and L paid for our dinner! Such a kind and unexpected act of generosity! Thank you!).
Speaking of parting ways, E and I left Game of Thrones in Astorga. We will be keeping an eye out for the second novel, but for now have moved on to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.