Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From Astorga to El Ganso

It had been pouring down all night with occasional thunder and lightening, which had not made sleep any easier - fleeting thoughts of fire and the impossibility of getting down the old wooden stairs for about 40 people sleeping up under the eves of the roof were quite unsettling!
Anyway, I got up, and prepared myself for a wet day. I walked out into the still dark and wet street, and made my way out of Astorga in the rain.
I was a bit nervous about the thunder and lightening that continued as I walked out of the city; but I was not the only one out in the rain and thunder, so I figured it would be okay. Just as I had left the city a small, lovely chapel appeared. It was lit and lovely music was playing, so I stopped by, got a stamp from the lady taking care of the chapel, and just soaked in the lovely atmosphere, before I went out into the rain again. It seemed like it had gotten lighter, and I walked on in a good frame of mind. It is always the thought of walking out into the rain that seems to be a lot worse than actually walking in the rain - and today I quite enjoyed it!
Eventually the rain did stop, and there was even a sliver of blue sky way out in the horizon by the distant mountains now visible. - I stopped in the 2nd village on my way - Santa Catalina, to get a bocadillo to go.
I walked on to my goal for the day - El Ganso, where the older German couple I had talked with earlier had confirmed that according to their guidebook there was a good new albergue. The couple and a nice Austrian guy they walked with at the time and I arrived at about the same time. We were met by a very friendly hostess at the small. private albergue. She offered us tea and biscuits while we did the paperwork, and soon we were settled in, and it started raining again. We had a lovely view of the church tower from the bedroom of the albergue, and showers and toilets were nice and new.
After walking around in the little village we ended up at the "Cowboy Bar" and had a great, fun evening with too much wine and some food, and the host poured us a sample of a local liqueur to walk home on! He was so excited when he heard I lived in California - it was just so odd to find this little piece of the American West in this tiny, remote hamlet in Northern Spain!

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