Thursday, May 21, 2015

Camino de Santiago Thursday 21st May: Day 9

Hospital de Orbigo – Molinaseca
62.9km, total time on the way 11:00hrs.

Slept much better, and left at 06:00 after a nice prepared breakfast. Our hosts said "Thanks for staying with us" as I left. So humble.

At last there were some hills. Gentle hills, but hills nonetheless. I passed through rural farmland and peaceful little villages. No one to be up, only the roosters. I continued in beautiful early morning light. Mountains seemed much nearer to the west now.

I came across a multi-coloured donativio stall. "This is your house - have whatever you want” And as I left “....have a good life"….and I fancied he truly meant it.

I made me think about what I can give back to the Camino. It is giving me so much but what can I leave in return?

Astorga was lovely. I visited the magnificent cathedral, the Camino museum and Gaudi’s Palacio Episcopal. The cathedral was very peaceful inside and I suddenly understood that I have to give a positive ray of lights to others’ lives. I must exude energy rather than drain it out of others. Perhaps this is what I can give back to the Camino.

Just out of Astorga, I visited Ecce Homo, an old hermitage. A lovely little chapel that felt very meaningful and spiritual.

Beautiful rolling trail alongside quite country roads took me towards Rabanal, just before which was several hundred metres of fence with simple wooden crosses made from twigs. I made my own; it seemed the right thing to do.

Rabanal is a lovely little village. I popped into the albergue, run by the British Confraternity, and a sello for my Pilgrim’s Record. The tiny church was outstanding; the light inside spectacular. I popped into the monastery shop but he was just closing for prayers.

Next there was some proper uphill trail to Foncebadon and on to Cruz de Ferro. I placed my 2 stones there. Having been looking forward to this spot, I was somewhat underwhelmed. It was a roadside site and somewhat scruffy, not the inspirational site I was expecting.

Hitting the highpoint of the Camino at 1515m, there was some great technical, steeply downhill trail to Acebo. I managed to take a spectacular fall withy impressive abrasions to my right knee, shin and lower arm. Refueled in Acebo, a lovely mountain village.

I reached Molinaseca at 17:15, planning to continue a few more kilometres to Ponferrada. I stopped to talk to Whitney & Sally, mother and daughter from California, and a lady from Ontario, who cheered me on as I passed. They were very impressed by my running and were hilarious.

I carried on for 500m but was now really tired and decided to back track to Molinaseca. It felt like the right place to stop. The 3 ladies cheered as I returned. We ended up having a very pleasant dinner together and I even got mine paid for. The best bonus was that I had my own room with a bath!! Luxury.

Spontaneous is good. It is so much easier to be flexible and not have an absolute plan.

Phrase of the day:
"Be a positive ray of light."

Comment of the day:
"Have a good life"

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