September 1, 2018
Today was day 22 of walking and I treked 31.5 km (19.6 miles) from Villar de Mazarife to Astorga.
I passed through the towns of Villavante, 9.6 kilometers in, where Rebecca and I had a café con leche break. And then into Hospital where we said “Adios”. I have really enjoyed walking with her and she’s one of the few with whom I have had a connection in the last week. She wanted to go at a bit slower pace than I, and so we separated as she ended her day. I went on for another double. Her chosen albergue offered yoga and had a TeePee!
I walked through the villages of Villeras de Órbigo and Santibañez until a total of seven and a half hours later I arrived in Astorga. As with León, I came over the crest of a hill to see mine city spread out in its beauty before me! A long descent into the outskirts of town was required and then probably another hour invested to get to my albergue. And then getting into “old town” where I was staying was a lot of continual uphills. In fact at one point, to cross the railroad, we went over an imposing bridge – a san justo, that seemed a little much at that point in my day!
My feet were hurting so and I didn’t think I could talk myself into going to look at the acclaimed Cathedral and Gaudi Palace, but eventually, after doing my laundry, showering, and readying my bed, I did – and I was VERY HAPPY that I made that decision! Besides seeing my route to exit via dark in the morning, it was well worth the euros, time and footsteps that I invested to see these amazing, amazing feats of architecture and Glory to God! The whole area was lively in a very popular square with many eateries and shops featuring local chocolates, pastries and other Spanish items.
The prices were a bit inflated, and I’m still saving my euros for the Galician fare that I can’t wait to enjoy, so I hit the supermercado, got some arugula, cheese and olives – added that to my rice cakes for my dinner and I was perfectly satisfied.
Our albergue was of many levels, which is frustrating when one is tired, but the amazing old building I was in was adjacent to a park built upon Roman walls. Viewing the expanse of city was astounding! And lots of sun and many terraces to enjoy (if I hadn’t already been tired of the sun! It was a pretty toasty afternoon coming into town.) It was great to see Teddy and Yuki again there as well!