So – day 24, today  went from Murias de Rechivaldo (outside AStorga 242.6 km from Santiago) and am on my way to Monjarín.

Most people stop in Foncebadón, where I am now, but it’s a bit overpriced (typical of many places on the Camino – there’s no caompetition, so they can do ridiculous things like charge you 7 euros for a bottle of wine)

We’ve been slogging uphill all day but I’ve been feeling surprisingly good. I think it has to do with the fact that I forwent the usual half a bottle of wine at dinner last night (not really the best for chronically dehydrated walkers, but, it’s Spain, it’s hard not to drink wine with every dinner). This morning I had croissants, 600mg of ibuprofen (the fasciitis has been getting really painful these last days) and a coffee (I usually don’t drink it). Aparantly the combination of painkillers and caffeine makes me impervious to pain and fatigue and I’ve been goin’ like a machine all day!! Wish I’d learned this before!

In a bit, my walkin’ buddy of the moment and I will reach Cruz de Ferro (the Iron Cross) which marks the traditional highest point on the Camino. It’s an ancient site, predating Cristianity even, some specualte it may have been a shrine to Mercury, who was the protector of travellers, that was then christianized later. Its marked by a small iron cross (a new one now, the original’s in a musueun) on top of a large oak pillar. All around it’s base are rocks piled on top of each other (as happens around all the crosses of the Camino). Traditionally, you take a rock from home, and carry it all the way to leave it there, as a symbolic unloading of your pain and anguish in life. Though most people cheat and just brign one from the town right before.

Instead of staying the night in Foncebadón, where we are now, we’re going to a little, not-even-a-town, just past the cross. My guide says there’s one building in an abandonded pueblo, with one guy who runs a little albergue that doesn’t even have running water. (MMmmm, gonna smell good tomorrow! Who needs a shower? Not Karina!) But there’s a kitchen, which none of the places here have. We bought food and it’ll go bad if we dont use it and anyways, this place sounds more interesting. I’ve decided I prefer the little places, the weird places.

That’s all for now, running over my time on the internet, will get nasty looks from the bar owner soon!

Ciao all!

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