Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 22: Villadangos del Paramo - Murias del Rechivaldo ( 33 kms)

Left Villadangos at 7:40 am. It is still cold outside, about 5 degrees, and as in the past days, I am still wearing my wool thermal pants, trekking pants and rainpants for lower body layering and 2 wool shirts -- short and long sleeves, windbreaker and rainjacket for upper layering. We get to San Martin del Camino in an hour and have breakfast there. In Hospital del Orbigo at 11, a really nice-looking town, we stop for a jamon bocadillo brunch.

We continue following the route beside the main road -- the rain is on and off-- mostly on, and it is still bitterly cold.   At a certain high point marked by a cruzeiro, I believe I see Astorga, but it is still a number of kilometers to there.  Here we meet again and take photos with Juan Sanchez Porcell, a Spaniard we met in Villadangos del Paramo who has already been twice on the Camino, once with his wife, another time with his son and this time on his own.  He has already told me several times that I look a little bit like his wife who is from Nicaragua.  We get to talking about names and he says that in Spain, they always have two last names, and that his wife also has kept her own two last names.  When he finds out that I have taken my husband's last name and kept my last name as a middle name.  He asks why, and exclaims, "Yo soy yo, tu eres tu" -- meaning "I am I, you are you" -- and therefore, why should a woman change her name?

We finally arrive in Astorga at 3:30 pm. My sister has fallen back a bit and I wait for her at the entrance to the city.  What a beautiful town!  We eat again at a bar-- and try the Cocido Maragota, their specialty, made of chickpeas and different kinds of boiled meats.  We also have some arroz verdura and lomo planchado.

Properly fortified, we follow the Camino out of town.  We pass the Gaudi gardens which is luckily open.  The portico of the Gaudi palace is also open and we marvel at the intricate workings there.  Next door is the Cathedral which is closed, but the facade of Gothic style, is extremely beautiful. 

We walk on for another hour to reach Murias de Rechivaldo at 5:30 pm.  It is our destination for the day and we stay at the Albergue Municipal. The hospitalero, Oliver, a German who has lived there for a year, welcomes us in.  There are only 4 other pilgrims there and we have individual beds (not bunk beds!) in a room with 10 beds ( although there is no heating). Dinner is at the Bar Felix for 9 euros.  It is a beautiful quaint little town. So cute!

Really tired after another long day. Hope the weather is better tomorrow.

In Astorga

Gaudi palace interior

Gaudi Palace and grounds

Astorga plaza

Buen Camino

Murias de Rechivaldo Albergue Municipal

Church, Murias de Rechivaldo
City streets in Murias de Rechivaldo

Dusk at Murias de Rechivaldo

Oliver, the Albergue Municipal hospitalero at Murias de Rechivaldo

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