The Way, Day 31

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[Toilet Seat Kids]

Total Distance: 16.7 km
Total Time: 5h
Total Euro: ~23/person
Route: Rabanal to El Acebo

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There are many other photos from today that would have shown the beauty of the mountains we walked through today, but it’s hard to pass up posting a photo of a bunch of kids with toilet seats attached to their packs.  Recall, if you will, my previous post in which I mentioned that toilet seats in Leon are frequently missing.  In light of what we witnessed today on the trail, this begs the questions:  Are these kids carting around toilet seats because they are often absent in public toilets?  Or is the lack of toilet seats due to the fact that these kids steal them?  Either way, it’s kind of gross to think about. 

Another great sleep last night, followed by a pleasant breakfast this morning.  We were feeling pretty good today, which we attributed to some solid rest two nights in a row and the fact that we were on a dirt trail almost immediately after we started walking.  We blew through the first town and then made an offering at the Pilgrim’s Cross.  We thought we might stop for a snack in Manjarin, but when we came upon the town, we found a group of pilgrims surrounding a man dressed in a white robe.  We stopped for a moment to take in the scene – I thought that maybe it was some sort of knight reenactment, E thought it had a decidedly religious bent.  We moved on and were soon joined by a fellow pilgrim we met yesterday who informed us that Manjarin was the town he mentioned last night that boasted a population of one.  “Now I know who the one is,” he quipped as he passed. 

Somehow we ended up off the hiking trail and on the main road for a while (we followed the Brazilian Pack and the Toilet Seat Kids).  Being around so many people and feeling nervous about cars (and let’s be honest, being hungry) was making me a little grumpy, so we off-roaded a bit until we found the hiking trail again.  Soon afterward, we began our descent down the mountain.  I’m glad we decided to divide up the downhill – it was pretty steep and littered in loose rock. 

We arrived in El Acebo a little before noon and grabbed a cup of coffee while we waited to check into the Meson El Acebo albergue.  Before Astorga, I would have said this albergue was “nice,” but the last two days have spoiled me and now I find this place to be about average.  Clean enough (not the greatest shower), but no kitchen, not a lot of food in the store, average food in the restaurant, but a lovely garden dining area.  We had a long lunch, did our chores and planned out our next 10 days (or, did as much planning as a trip like this allows).  It’s hard to believe that tomorrow marks our fourth week on the trail and the start of the last 10 days of our hike.  A little reading before a light dinner and then bed. 

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[A little bonus picture from our snack spot]

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