Camino Week 4
Day 22, Villadangoes del Paramo to San Justo de la Vega, 26k
April 22, 2016
It was an especially nice group of pilgrims in the hostel last night and we were lucky to run into them again today. Our guidebook suggested a 28.5k day, but we stopped short of that goal, mostly due to tired feet and heavy rain. We even hit thunder and lightening. It is a bit warmer and the wind has finally died down, but I’m tired of walking in mud, rain and getting soaked. My rain jacket doesn’t seem to keep me all that dry.
On the plus side, the fields are green and we heard cuokoo birds most of the day. It’s like hearing someone’s clock strike the hour.
My feet really hurt today–too many hard surfaces! So after my shower I simply lay in bed most of the rest of the evening. My feet were much better for it! In general the pilgrims hostels (albergues) are quite nice, better than almost any I stayed in on the AT. This night was an exception. Three bunk beds crammed into a single hotel room with barely room between the beds to climb to the top bunk. The bath was functional, but the whole place could use some attention. I usually snag a bottom bunk, but had a top bed this night.
Day 23, San Justo de la Vega to El Ganso, 18k
April 23, 2016
I simply wasn’t into hiking today. Nothing is hurting, no blisters, just tired of walking in rain and dark skies. It was mostly an attitude problem, but the hostel didn’t help either. They didn’t get our laundry done last night and we couldn’t even dress until they opened the bar at 8a! When you do laundry, you wash pretty much everything except what you are wearing at the moment. I prefer to do my own laundry, but most places seem to want to do it for you. I have one pair of pants I hike in and one for town. I’ve a pair of shorts to sleep in, but it’s been too cold for that.
First we walked 2-3k to Astorga, the town we’d expected to stay in the night before. There was the most complicated pedestrian railroad crossing I’ve ever seen. It was almost half a kilometer long! In Astorga we stopped for coffee and breakfast. At the halfway point I would have taken a bus if one was available, but none was. There was heavy rain before lunch. Though we occasionally got a hint of sun, like yesterday, there were thunderstorms in the afternoon with a noticeable temperature drop. This is not the fun part.
We stopped short of our goal of Rabanal del Camino and are in a surprisingly nice hostel in the middle of nowhere. It’s filled up since we arrived and based on the chatty Italian, it could be a noisy night. It was a gradual assent all day. According to the guidebook we will reach the highest point tomorrow. I keep seeing white capped mountains growing closer in front of us and I’m getting nervous.