A Travellerspoint blog

Day 25, Astorga


View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

Started out at 6:45 on my own this morning but was soon joined by Margareta from Sweden. We are having breakfast together in Hospital de Orbigo, both writing in our blogs. :) Which I followed with a chocolate croissant, sharing with Margareta.

We just spoke with a pilgrim who took the alternate route that I had considered yesterday and is just now joining back to the regular route. Conversation is a bit difficult, but he was clear that it was not a nice path. So I'm glad I stuck with the route I did.

It's now 10:30am and I'm halfway to Astorga, stopped in Santibanez de Valdeiglesias, having my usual agua con gas y limon. Only 10km to go today. Margareta left the last stop before me and I haven't passed her, but I think she walked the alternate route by the road, while I have taken a more scenic route. She is following a different guidebook and I think it only shows the shortest (and less interesting) routes.

I walked the last 10 km today with David (ND) continuing along the scenic route. David is very pleasant company and we walk at a similar pace.

First we passed a pilgrim statue/memorial, where we had our picture taken together. Next we passed a pilgrim's oasis, which is a rest and refreshment stand run by another David. There was various juices, included his own fresh made watermelon juice, which was fantastic. He also had cookies and other snacks and told everyone who arrived that it was free. He encouraged us to have more juice and enjoy. We spent 15 minutes or so sampling the juices. There was a very discreet, unlabeled donation box so I was generous and thanked him for the great hospitality.

At the highest point today there was a cross and great view of Astorga before the descent into town.

My albergue was at the start of the route through Astorga, so David and I parted, sure to see each other again over the next day or so. He is planning to stay a few days in Rabanal, so we may be too far apart after tomorrow.

My first order of business, after picking a lower bunk and showering was to find a farmacia for my bites. Apparently, today is a festivo in Astorga, so most everything is closed (including the Museo de chocolate - damn!). However, the helpful hospitalero was able to locate and give me a map to the only farmacia open today. I quickly made my way across town and have some cream for bites.

Coming back from the farmacia, I was more observant of my surroundings, now that the important business was taken care of. The festival in Astorga looks similar to the one in Bayonne. White shirts, red bandanas at the neck and lots of young people milling about with alcohol. A couple of differences. The shirts seem to have writing on them - varying hand written messages and the bands of youth are armed with water pistols and big water guns. I was sprayed on the back on my way by. All in good fun.

Now, back at the albergue, I have my clothes in the dryer and I'm wearing my sleep shorts. Pilgrims arriving late this afternoon when I was doing laundry were complaining about the heat. I just checked and at 6pm the temp is currently 36, with a severe heat warning. Tomorrow is showing 11 in the early morning when I'll leave, but quickly heating up to a high of 37. I'll be wanting to finish early tomorrow for sure.

I told Mary to fly out and meet me in Sarria. She was implying a desire to be here. It'll be interesting to see her response. It would be super fun if she showed up..

Happily, I found that both the Cathedral and Palacio del Gaudi were open, so I bought a combo ticket before finding food for dinner. The interior of the cathedral was perfumed with flowers at the alter. Lovely. The palace included basement exhibits as well as the interesting building design and art.

Then I stopped into the tourist office and found out that today's festival is about bull fighting. The writing on the shirts is about the various teams and combatants, both man and beast. And the coloured neckwear is red, black or yellow depending on the team. Some wear yellow or green team shirts.

I am currently sitting in the plaza de Eduardo de Castro and I've ordered spicy sausages and grilled mushrooms along with a cerveza tostado, which is a bit darker and yummy. I'm writing this while enjoying my seat in the plaza.

I watched the town setting up for some sort of event this evening. Here's a picture, but no idea what they're planning. You can see some weird props on the ground, including roof tiles and cement blocks. And a chess tournament.

I wasn't able to get one of the limited albergue plugs earlier today, so I recharged using the power monkey. Now, I've found a comfortable spot with a plug and am charging first the phone and then I'll put some power into the monkey. Tomorrow I'll try to top it up with the solar charger.

David and I, pilgrim statue/memorial

David and I, pilgrim statue/memorial

Plaza with milling youth

Plaza with milling youth

Gaudi's Palacio

Gaudi's Palacio

Astorga Cathedral

Astorga Cathedral

Pilgrim's oasis

Pilgrim's oasis

Sword in the stone

Sword in the stone

Corn ready for harvest

Corn ready for harvest

Villares de Orbigo

Villares de Orbigo

Villares de Orbigo

Villares de Orbigo

Canal we keep crossing

Canal we keep crossing

Astorga Cathedral

Astorga Cathedral

Statue of a pilgrim drinking from a fuentes

Statue of a pilgrim drinking from a fuentes

View approaching Astorga

View approaching Astorga

Town setting up for unknown event

Town setting up for unknown event

My albergue

My albergue

Posted by Deb Godley 17:03 Archived in Spain

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login