Day 26. San Martin del Camino – Astorga 06-06-2018

Walked 26.5 km, 6 hours 51 minutes
Ascent: 150 meters
Descend: 150 meters
Kilometers to be traveled: 269.5

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The daily report I had written was short, because a new IP address had been assigned to my server at home, so I could not create it on the same evening. So 1 day later this carried out. But now when making my story and with the photos I can still remember many points.
The breakfast was simple, simple and quickly consumed. The night was indeed very fresh and the morning in the dorm room even cooler. Most of them stayed a little longer in their sleeping bag, under the covers, in the nest heat. But I want to see sun that morning, I want to be able to take my photos when it is dry. So go and not alone, together with Domenique and Valeria.
The path with the yellow arrows and shells is quickly picked up and through the back of the village, we leave the village to arrive at the main road again and walk along the path next to it. But before we reach the path, we walk under high-voltage lines. The masts form a beautiful photo backdrop, so take a few pictures. And looking back, the sun rises again in full glory, with a beautiful blue cloud cover in the east.
We leave the busy road for what it is and bow a little inland. Then we arrive at Hospital de Orbigo, the entrance to the place leads over an old stone arched bridge. There are still banners and a stage on the fields near the bridge, I think there has been a knight festival, or it is yet to come. The bridge is equipped with banners, you imagine yourself a bit back towards the Middle Ages.
Another acquaintance of ours, Oliver, spent the night here, he had walked 7 kilometers yesterday. In Villares de Orbigo we meet him at the local cafeteria. We also make a stopover for the coffee and croussant break. Then we walk more or less together again, each with its own pass. The road turns into a red gravel path, slowly sloping, wide stretched, past farmlands and cornfields. Passing a village now and then.
Roads like this, or actually paths when they are dry, are good to walk on, but if you were to stay here in a rainy period, it can’t be fun. That red soil will be hard to get out of your clothes, I expect. The vastness makes it more impressive for me than for many other walkers. Enjoying the good weather, the sounds around me, great.
For a long time, I have not had the opportunity to have a snack, Rother was right again, take care of food and drink, because you are in no man’s land. But then suddenly after a small climb, on a kind of plateau, you come to a 1-man settlement. It seems like, yes, what it looks like, I can’t describe it, but I think the location is called: La Casa de Los Dioses, a video from YouTube picked to make yourself an opinion.

At this stop I meet a father and son from Australia. The son asks me from which country the flag is hanging on my backpack. When I tell from Dutch Limburg, the father starts talking in Dutch. His parents were Dutch people who migrated to Australia. He normally speaks Dutch with a small accent, his son can also speak a little Dutch.
The road continues towards Astorga, for this we walk down the plateau again and then walk on a path to Astorga. To reach this place we are allowed to pass the track over a beautiful modern walkway. Via a zigzag upwards and down again on the other side. Astorga is on a hill, it looks like a fortress town.
The first the best alberge, again not a small one, is the alberge that we choose for an overnight stay. Outside is a beautiful statue of a modern pilgrim, who is on the road not with a backpack but with a suitcase. We can get a room for 4 again, so we know who snores and who doesn’t. The room is not large but adequate. So the arrival rituals are performed and then on to a nice restaurant.
It takes a while before we find something that we can all confirm. We choose a local specialty restaurant and order a group menu with the locally highly regarded dishes. If you now ask me to describe everything, I have to disappoint you, it no longer works, but it was not dirty, not even the served wine, picked out by Domenique, our private wine expert.
After dinner I walked around Astorga again and did some shopping at the real supermarket. Supplementing supplies. Then back to the room, Domenique goes to the hairdresser … The first time since he left home, now almost 6 weeks ago. In the evening we ate something light at the market, enjoying a beer and the fellow pilgrims and back to bed on time.
Ooh yes, the voluntary hospital eros in the alberge were Dutch, but also other nationalities, many volunteers from all over the world.

Accommodation: Albergue Siervas de Maria

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