Saturday October 9, 2010
Day 23 on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga
Wake early to get a start on the day. There are no hotel rooms available in Astorga so must travel back to Hospital after the days’ trek. Quick breakfast of toast, jam and tea - and off I go. Dark clouds overhead, forecast is for wind and rain. The pilgrims are off in a hurry to complete the trek before the heavens open up. No such luck before long the dark clouds burst. Heavy rain forces everyone to find rain gear. The problem is dodging the puddles and small ponds on the trail. I am so happy for waterproof hiking boots, pants and jacket, and a rain poncho too. Several kms. later, I need to concentrate walking through a hamlet. The terra cotta water from the rain comes rushing down the hill with all the manure from the cow farms up above - yuk, there is no tip toeing though the tulips with this stuff - wonder about the hamlet´s drinking water as the stuff continues down into the main streets. Walk as gingerly as I can. I take some time to make a detour to pat a little calf in a pen drinking milk from a small bucket. We have it all today, wind, rain, mud, puddles, ponds, small lakes, and finally sunshine - oh for the silver lining in every dark cloud. Meet a Vancouver woman, Jamie, who she is trekking along the Camino, picking up pilgrims’ garbage as she walks. She gets about 3 bags per daily walk. She says she is giving back to the Camino - life sure gives you some wonderful people on the path. Make it to Astorga in time to see a wedding in the city square. Fall is definitely in the air - it is cooler and the birch trees show signs of the foliage changing colours. Air is also cooler. Thinking of Thanksgiving tomorrow in Canada - no turkey here! Trek 17 kms. today - the entire area is in a festival mode, reason why there are no hotel rooms in any town forward for the next four days - take a taxi back to Hospital. Tomorrow will taxi back to Astorga and hike for about 22 kms. then have to take a taxi forward to the next town - then backwards the following day to hike to the same town again - the National Holiday on Tuesday is to celebrate Columbus discovering America - in America everyone goes shopping on Columbus Day - here everything comes to a stop so the nation can celebrate!
Blessings from the Camino,
My personal thoughts for today -With the hood up and the rain playing a pit-pat tune upon my head I let my boots find the path of least resistance along the small rivers running downhill. I use the time to pray for all who need some prayers at this moment. It is a wonderful experience.