Saturday, 29 September 2012

Astroga to Molinaseca

Molinaseca's Romanesque spans
Tuesday 19 June: Astorga to El Ganso - 9 miles (14km). Today's the start of the mountains again and I opt for another short hop to the small windswept village of El Ganzo.
Albergue Gabino (8) B&B.
Wednesday 20: El Ganso to Foncebadon 8 miles (13km). More hills and at Foncebadon I bump into Natcho again. We have a beer together as I'm celebrating three years of travelling today. I'm standing on the albergue balcony when a pretty girl waves to me from the garden, I wave back, but I'm sure we have not met on the camino. After dinner we talk, she's from Utrecht where she works in the organ museum when she's not sailing on the IJsselmeer or around the Frisian Islands. Her name is Mechteld (I can write it but the pronunciation is beyond me). She seems to enjoy my head massage before we are ushered to bed.
Monte Irago albergue (€20), enjoyable communal dinner, B&B. 
Thursday 21: Foncebadon to Molinaseca 12 miles (20km). Walking with Mechteld we reach Punto Alto (1,505m) marked by a pile of stones and other items left by pilgrims - sounds spiritual, looks like a garbage dump. It's raining so I'm walking fast and when Mechteld stops to rest, I carry on (I don't have an adequate waterproof). Descending out of the mountains the weather begins to clear and I pass through the pretty villages of El Acebo and Riego de Ambros to reach the attractive riverside town of Molinaseca. Below the Romanesque bridge a dam provides a pool for swimmers, it's a pretty place. Erin, minus Cameron who has gone back to Ireland, cooks a dinner of chorizo stew with rice for myself, Paul, Gary and Natasha who now seem to be hooked-up together. Briefly glimpse Mechteld and give her a wave.
Albergue Municipal (5), converted church with sunken kitchen below and, beds above and outside under the porch.
Photos of the Camino de Santiago: Astroga to Molinaseca. I've now walked  353 miles (569km).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Leon to Astorga

Gaudi designs in Astorga
Laptop finally repaired so blog resumes apace:
Sunday 17 June: Leon to Hospital de Oreigo - 22 miles (36km). Stopping at a little bar in Fresno del Camino I join Dave, Julie, Erin & Cameron for brunch. Walking with commercial airline pilot Dave for most of the afternoon we stop to enjoy a beer at Villar de Mazarife while waiting for the others catch up. Leaving them all at Tio Pepe albergue bar in the village I continue to Hospital de Orbigo, a larger village with a stunning twenty-arch Medieval bridge.
Albergue San Miguel (10) B&B, friendly with a little art gallery.
Monday 18: Hospital de Oreigo to Astorga - 10 miles (16km). A short hop today to the small city of Astorga with it's striking Gaudi designed building dwarfed by the uglier Gothic cathedral.
Amigos del Camino de Santiago albergue (5), comfortable municipal albergue with garden, terrace and lounge. Met up again with Dutch Paul and Erin & Cameron.
Photos of the Camino de Santiago: Leon to Astorga. I've now walked  324 miles (522km).