Madrid Camino Day 20 – Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

May 26, 2017

Always someone close by on this stretch of Camino

A quick, unmemorable 21 kms today, much of it along highways and through increasingly commercial service towns. It was also largely uphill in the heat, under threatening skies. My heels are feeling sensitive but holding up. I had made a reservation at a little hotel in Rabanal, but they said they never got it and were booked, so I waited with a group of people for an albergue to open. It is a pretty cool place, built on a 12th century site the Knights Templar had used for a chapel. Lots of Canadians walking the Camino Frances. Some people have remarked how unusual that is, but my response has been that when your neighbours are behaving badly, sometimes it is best to go out for a long walk.

Waiting for the albergue to pass an inspection

I walked and chatted with a 69 year old woman from Cambridge, England for an hour – a lovely conversation that somehow ended up on the topic of the British motoring show, Top Gear. Turns out she was a big fan. Henry would’ve loved her. We laughed about the hosts’ hijinks and clever witticisms. Again, this sort of thing passes the time.

This section of The Way is still directly beside roads and, though the traffic today was sparse, there were many tour buses. It turns out the hotels from here on in are often booked well in advance by bus pilgrims on package tours, leaving the walking folks the lower grade accommodations. Oh well.

In the foothills now, mountains tomorrow. Hoping my calves will hold up.