Cold, rain and fog accompany us as we walk through the Pyrennees from Refuge Orrison to Roncesvalles. The thumping sound of large, raindrops pelt against my rain gear… a constant drumming throughout the day. Soaked gloves offer no protection from the cold resulting in numb fingers and toes. Large flocks of sheep hunker down together, staring at the passing Pilgrims as if to say, …and they say sheep are dumb. We later discover that the mountain was closed to those leaving St. Jean that day.
Maybe I do feel like a hiking beast…
The following stretch from Roncesvalles to Larrasoana provides a much better day for hiking with plenty of photo opportunities due to the pleasant weather. I am much more appreciative of this wonderful weather today due to the rough weather yesterday. Minnesotans learn this lesson early in life.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou
2016 Rigdon/Meyer Camino (Unfinished Business) blog post links are available in chronological order on one page. Several posts include a short video of the day and we are relieved that we aren’t still looking for Randy somewhere in France!
So, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, click on the photo below and travel along with Randy, Joyce & Joan. ~Buen Camino!
For more of our escapades, including hiking the West Highland Way in Scotland, go to rjmeyerarts.com
September 24, 2016: Camino Completion ~ third time’s a charm. Another dot is connected as we walk into Astorga, Spain.
Cruceiro Santo Toribio is a stone cross that commemorates the 5th century Bishop Toribio of Astorga who supposedly fell to his knees here in a final farewell having been banished from the town. Wonderful view of the city of Astorga with the mountains looming in the distance.This gentleman has welcome wagon duty today along with tending to the flowers and shrubs near the stone cross.Tonight we sleep in the loft of a very old building, Albergue de Peregrinos San Javier located on a narrow street near the cathedral. 110 beds and we are up three levels in the top loft area. As you can see, we both get a front and center bottom bunk tonight surrounded by our international roommates. Friendly conversations are a bonus to this situation and we experience absolutely no bedbugs. A full kitchen is on the bottom level of the building so we are able to cook our own meal tonight and converse with other pilgrims doing the same. Flashlights are close and ready for action in case we need to walk down the dark staircase during the night to a lower level to use the facilities. Watch to the end of the video on this blog post and you will take a walk with me from top to bottom of the albergue. I’m glad there wasn’t a fire during the night because we would surely have been toast.Inside these doors… Astorga’s cathedral was built between the 15th and 18th centuries and combines various styles including Gothic and Baroque. The edifice was begun in 1471, within the same walls of its Romanesque predecessors from the 11th-13th centuries. Construction lasted until the 18th century which explains the inclusion of elements from later styles. ~Wikipedia Is Harry Potter home? Opposite the cathedral is the Palcio Episcopal designed by Anton Gaudi for the bishop of the time who was a fellow Catalan. The palace’s bizarre appearance and enormous cost horrified the church and no future bishops ever lived in it. It is now home to the Museo de los Caminos, an excellent museum of the pilgrimage to Santiago. ~spainthisway.com
We were not able to visit Museo Chocolate also located in Astorga, Spain. Here you can see a display of tools and objects that represent the history of chocolate production: instruments for roasting, refining and rolling, as well as pans, mortars, moulds and machines from the early 19th century.
September 23, 2016: Two options today ~ follow the highway path or take the longer alternate path. We naturally opt for the longer route since we rarely seem to do anything the easy way.
Short video of the day featuring the inspiration for our morning mantra ~ …Coffee Town:
As usual, we follow an arrow to proceed straight ahead. What’s this? A set of large railroad tracks loom ahead and we are hesitant to cross since neither of us like to break rules. Hmmm…? Turn around and back we go to find this little arrow pointing to a road that winds us through town, up and over a pedestrian railroad crossing. Safety first and it’s a good thing we like to walk.
The 13th century bridge taking us into Hospital Orbigo is the longest one on the Camino at 204 metres long (approximately 670 feet) and has 20 arches. The river that it crosses doesn’t seem to appear to warrant such a lengthy bridge, but prior to a dam being built at Barrios de Luna the river was a lot wider. ~Galicia Guide
This bridge has facilitated trade since Roman times including the passage of livestock as part of the cattle trail Camino de la Canada, as well as sweaty pilgrims. ~John Brierly
I see our albergue! A sign can be spotted from the bridge so we have finally arrived. The albergue tonight is connected to a bar/restaurant which means we have a zero kilometer walk tonight. Yes!
As we leave town on this chilly, dreary day we are joined by a few fellow pilgrims so conversation flows freely. Dorothy and Ruby, along with Joan, enjoy a Kodak moment in front of Bar Elvis. Unfortunately, Elvis has left the building… it’s closed. Reliegos, Spain is our stopping point for the day and we find parts of the medieval walls still intact.18th century St. Mary’s church in Reliegos is built on top of the previous 12th century church.Many artifacts from the 12th century church can be found inside.
September 17, 2016: Pretty level day as we plod along enjoying the company of Alabama John (Hence, the video song choice) and Blair today. Poor Blair’s blisters are becoming quite a struggle, but she is one tough cookie.
Blair, Joan and I are staying in Ledigos tonight while Alabama John continues on to the next town meaning we, most likely, will not see him again. Thank you being a part of our journey. Buen Camino, John!
We take a stroll around this quaint little village of Ledigos with its interesting buildings constructed with mud and straw. We walk up a hill to the church and discover a woman just finishing up preparing for Sunday service tomorrow. She allows us in and gives us a little tour.