Our scenery has changed immensely over the past several days but today it was very pronounced. Since Astorga, we have been climbing into the hills, surrounded by woodlands and, off in the distance, snow-capped peaks. (Photo 1) Everywhere along the trail was purple-colored heather in bloom, along with some yellow plants and tiny blue flowers. We were all showered in sunlight on our walk today although I still had on 4 layers due to the wind and elevation.
We left the Hostal about 8 and walked to Foncebadon (another name you gotta love) for our first cup of cafe and a chocolate croissant. (We deserve it, don't we?)
A short distance away, we came to Puerto Irago/Cruz de Ferro, a simple iron cross that stands atop its weathered pole which has become one of the abiding symbols of "The Way." This monument marks the doorway through the mountain and stands at 4,934 ft. above sea level, the highest point of our journey. Countless pilgrims before us have added a stone or other token of love and blessing to the great pile. Many have relieved themselves of a burden, such as an addiction, as evidenced by small empty liquor bottles or empty cigarette packs. (Photos 2, 3, 4)
Another short distance brought us to Manjarin, with its population of 1, a Brazilian named Tomas who runs a primitive albuergue and provides a small store with outdoor seating for the weary pilgrim. (Photos 5, 6). He also has made a road sign with destination mileages. (Photo 7). Santiago is only 222 K!
We made it to our destination of Acebo about 2pm, after only 11 miles, but it was
very steep in some places. We booked a room at la Posado de Peligrino for 50€ .
We had a lovely pilgrim's meal that included rabbit. I had eaten it at the wedding we attended in Italy in September and loved it. I was not disappointed . The beautiful mixed salad and the chocolate cake only added to the exquisite menu. And of course, the wine.
All for 12€. Michele says she knows why Australians come here -- they can eat far better for less. So can we.