Thursday, November 12, 2009

From Foncebadón to Riego de Ambrós via Cruz de Ferro

I had an okay night - I had taken an antihistamine plus a sleeping pill. - I had also doctored up a young German girl, who also suffered from bites and had had a terrible night the previously night. I gave her an antihistamine, until she could get to a pharmacy and get some herself.
Today the first important stop was the Cruz de Ferro - a small iron cross on top of a mountain, and it was only about 2 km away - uphill! So I set out around day break, the sky to the East was turning red and orange from the upcoming sun, but as I turned the corner and started walking up and out of the village I wa enveloped in a thick fog.! I was happy as another pilgrim from last night caught up with me - John from Sacramento - one of just a few Americans I had encountered on the Camino so far. Now at least I knew I was on the right path in the thick fog, on the lonely mountain.
We reached the famed cross - it's rather small, and the pile of rocks around it huge! It's the custom for pilgrims to bring a stone along with them from home, and then leave it at this cross.
Lots of people are up here, busy taking photos, this along with the fog made it less of an experience than it could have been. I took John's picture for him, and he took mine, in the fog it was not a great photo, but it's tradition. Quite frankly I found my impromptu stop yesterday at the little chapel outside Astorga in the rain and thunder much more spiritual than this.
Even though it was foggy, I could sense I was walking through beautiful country, unfortunately the fog blocked the views most of the morning. I walked my way first up - not too bad - then down, which was tiring with the loose rocks and stones, but I reached my destination for the day around 1 PM, after having made a stop mid-morning for coffee and a bocadillo in El Acebo.
Again I was the first one checking in, quickly followed by a nice German couple. After showering and laundry I went out the check out the dining possibilities in the tiny village.
I was happy to be able to report back to the German couple that indeed the one and only place in town would be serving dinner from 7:00 PM. - They had gotten the impression that it would be closed from 4 PM. After having established the dining situation, I took a long nap, checked my laundry - it was drying very slowly - then I wandered around to check out the village - quickly done! My feet were sore, the rest of my body was doing fine, and if it wasn't for the feet, I could definitely walk longer; but they get tired and start burning and cramping up!
I had a nice evening chatting with the German couple over dinner and 3 bottles of red wine!! After that I slept well, and woke up with no new bites!

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