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  • Day46

    A change in the air

    September 26, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Suddenly it's cooler as we approach Astorga and the last of the Plains of the Meseta. Thank God that's over, I did not enjoy the Roman roads, the heat, the straight line of the way etc, etc, etc.
    So many people say "ahh but it's good for the mind,".
    I felt like I should like it but I did not. I like curves in the road, hills, ups and downs and the anticipation of what's around the corner. I don't have any major issues I need to go into my head to solve. Give me a hill over a straight flat road any day.
    Astorga was grey and rain threatened as we arrived at Siervas de Maria albergue. We were lucky and got a two bunk room so we could have the window open. We went for a, wander around and ate lunch. I had eggs and bacon and chips which came out with the eggs kind of chopped across the top of the chips and bacon in pieces sprinkled across it. The weirdest serving of a, simple meal I've ever had. The church bells here sounded like someone dropping a, rock in a bucket... Dung, dung, dung(a hint of what was to come in Galicia, the next province after Castilla y León)
    Later we sat on the terrace of the albergue and watched the thunderstorm come in then massive cannon blasts sounded throughout the town for what we do not know but it was very very loud.
    We are both feeling good at this stage no injuries, no blisters and enjoying the walking but we decided to take an easy day's walk to a medieval. Village of Castrillo de Polvazares., the streets are cobbled and it retains its medieval charm. The albergue here is tiny and is and another couple were the only people there. We had dinner at a Flores del. Caminó Pensión where they were also holding an art workshop and we got to meet the teacher and group. It was icon painting which looked very detailed. We found a small bar on the way home and sang an impromptu jam session with the locals which was fun.
    Next stop was Rabanal del camino where we went to hear the local monks sing the psalms in Gregorian chants. All I can say is give if I ever want to praise da lord I'm going to da gospel church not the Gregorian chanting church(totally depressing music), I'd even rather listen to country & Western music than Gregorian chants and that's saying something! I can't imagine God being cheered up or feeling praised by this chanting, I just wanted it to be over as quickly as possible.
    After this was Cruz de Fiero a huge cross where you stand with a stone you brought from home and throw it over your shoulder onto the massive pile that is already there. It was a bit of non place for me I didn't feel that reflective or soulful as I threw my rock. There were three coaches pulled up and lots of people clambering up the pile to get thier photo taken on the pile of rocks. Maybe some find it spiritual and meaningful but for me it was not. We moved on fairly quickly and I didn't even take a picture
    The funny part for me was as I walked the landscape changed and the track became rocky and rubbly as if I was still clambering through all of what I'd left behind with the rock that I'd flung on that pile.
    The road to El Acebo climbed higher into the mountains and there were more rocks that had to be carefully managed. My pace became that of a snail, slow and steady. I sang all the rocky songs I knew. Papa was a rolling stone, rock n roll, I wanna rock with you and so on until I saw the mountain village of El Acebo. Like Clovelly in Devon but in Spain and of course our albergue was right at the bottom. Oh well, great sunset if a bit nippy.
    I'm loving these hills and trees it's green and pretty and almost Swiss mountain like. My heart is happy.
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    Mo Godbeer

    It's getting cooler and wetter, rain on this day so ponchos were on.

    Mo Godbeer

    Storm coming into Astorga but it was lovely and cool and the colours were great.

    Mo Godbeer

    Night in Astorga

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