Sunday, June 19, 2011

Leon to Molinaseca -- Redux

June 8 and 9: A Short Walk and an Albergue
We walked 5 miles the next day to test Russ' ankle. It held up ok. The following day we wanted about a 10 mile distance. Luckily there was a town in the right place. Unluckily, it only had an albergue. Luckily, the albergue had a double room and took reservations, and even more rented sheets, blankets, and towels for $3. So we had a very fun afternoon and night there. The electricity did not go on until dark...inconvenient for charging one's camera battery. We talked long into the evening with a Dutch mother and daughter walking to celebrate a 21st birthday and a Canadian couple originally from Mauritius (in the Indian Ocean.)
More wine "cellars"
Our albergue room
An albergue with bunks
An albergue, unusual because it is without bunks
June 10 and 11: The Road Gets Back to Wonderful
We walked 12 miles and 8 miles over the next two days. Much of it we'd done before although we took alternate routes where possible for the variety.

June 12: A Favorite Place
The 11 miles we covered this day to Foncebadon were blooming with heather when we were here in 2009. We were disappointed to have missed much of the color by a few weeks this time. Missing it did not spoil the beauty of this section, however, nor the quaintness of the semi-abandoned Foncebadon where we stayed in casa rural El Convento and had a medieval dinner.
June 13: Morning Glory, Cruz de Ferro, Enough of the Downhills!
The golden sun coming out of Foncebadon was awe inspiring. The road to Cruz de Ferro was uphill and challenging but we could not stop exclaiming at the vistas. At the Iron Cross, pilgrims leave a stone to symbolize unburdening their lives. Emotion fills the air. It is cathartic to place your burdens in the mound and start down from the Camino's highest point.
Alas, we'd forgotten how steep and rocky the path becomes from here. Two years after our last time on this path we found ourselves intimidated by it. We walked very cautiously, slipped and tripped a few times, wondered at the ineptitude of our memories, but made it to Molinaseca with only a few new bruises.
Happily, it was still a beautiful day because it was the end of this journey for us. We stayed in one of our most authentic and quaint medieval houses here. The living room floor was cobblestone. Wine flowed freely all afternoon, and the self-make breakfast included lots of breads and local eggs to be fried up on the spot. It was a worthy end to a wonderful Camino.
June 14: Back to Madrid and then to Gainesville

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