June 29th astorga to Rabanal
This was one of my favorite days to date, even though it was very cold and windy. I saw that it was over 100 in Oklahoma today, I sure don’t miss that. We put in a hard day from Astorga to Rabanal del Camino, over 20 km I think.
Our walk out of Astorga took us past the cathedral and the Gaudi house, he was a famous architect from the day. We also got to go to the museo chocolate, chocolate museum.
We took our first break of the day in Santa Catalina de Somoza at a little bar to charge and eat a little breakfast. That is where we first met Ray the Australian, raised in Tasmania, we will see him several times again. I really like talking to him, he is hilarious and fun to be around. As we came out of the restaurant a lady came up to us and asked if we were Americans, she had heard us speaking in English. Turns out she was Cindy from Minnesota. She lived not too far from where my in-laws lived in Minnetonka. She was on her first day on the Camino, she started in Astorga. It was so much fun to talk with her. She reminded us of ourselves when we first started, she is very outgoing and bubbly. She had just spent a week helping to teach people English in Madrid and seemed to be having a great time. Cindy was just like me at the first, every time you needed something you have to take your whole pack apart to find it and she spoke very little Spanish, but she was willing to learn and had a great attitude. Cindy had not gotten her shell yet for the trip so Deb gave her the large one from the back of her pack.
While we were talking a hermana and hermano came up on bikes with their father. Marie and Javier are 15 and 14 and two of the sweetest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. They live in Valencia with their parents and younger sister. They had ridden their bikes over 800 km already and were on their way to Santiago also. They were all going in to get something for lunch and Deb and I were on our way out. We figured even with their meal they would catch us again when we stopped to charge, so we said our Buen Caminos and off we went.
We walked to El Ganso and stopped for another charge at the cowboy museum. You haven’t really lived until you have watched an old old American western, with Rod Steiger and Charles Bronson, in Spanish, in Spain, in the middle of nowhere. Ray the Australian came in and we all watched about 30 minutes of it, it was amazing. Just as we finished and walked out the door, Cindy came up. She was planning on stopping there but none of us felt that the town felt right. She asked if she could walk with us for a while and we were very happy to have her. She didn’t think she could do the whole stage but she did as well as us. She even came to our albergue with us. Hayden stayed at the English one, which was very nice. Later the hospetelero thought we could have got in there and I probably would have preferred it but the El Pilar was very nice also.
While we were charging our chair Maria and Javier came into the albergue and we spent over an hour just getting to know them. They are probably two of my favorite Camino characters I have met on the entire trip. They worked with me on my Spanish and explained a lot of the grammar to me. They both speak several languages and are really smart. They said they want to come to America to visit and if they ever do we would love to see them again. I doubt if we see them here as they go about 5 times the distance we do each day but they were great people.
That night it was very cold and we were by the door to our dorm so every time someone opened it we got the chill. Deb was freezing so she got all the sleeping bags and pillows. I did get the liner but with sleeping in my jacket I was fine. It sure makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning though. As usual we were the last ones out but everything else was fine.