Camino de Santiago: Day 19

Villavante to Astorga

It was a brilliant day, my feet showed no sign of pain nor discomfort, this would mark the end of the saga of the troubled right foot. All the issues I had with my feet was due to my right foot. I only ever got one blister on my left and that was on the heel of it which is sort of standard when you start walking long distances for multiple days, after a while the skin hardens and it doesn’t become an issue any longer. Which was also the case for me, my left foot almost deserves a shrine

I also got a reminder from Audible that I had a new credit to spend so I downloaded a new audiobook “the Jinn and the Golem” a very good book that kept me entertained and well worth the chunk of data quota it required to download.

I ran, well walked really but hey, into the Danish Boys and Anita and Pezi on and off for the day. I would walk by myself for a period and then either one of them would either pass me or I pass them and I would take a break from listening to the audiobook and enjoy their company.

On my lunch break I was also pleased to see that Nicole was doing well, she had sent me an email detailing her experiences on the Camino and the people she had met, including Geert which had mentioned a crazy Norwegian carrying a sloth plushie by the name Donut … I’d met him on and off a few times early on and later as well.

 Suffice to say I laughed I bit when I read that, Nicole was also still ahead, but we stayed in touch as we both walked along the Camino… 

As I approached Astorga there was a street musician playing I threw a few coins in his guitar case and he stopped playing and asked if I was stopping in Astorga for the day, I told that indeed that was my plan. When he heard this he informed me that there was a festival in Astogra that I needed to check out. It was the Astures y Romanos Festival and it was brilliant, alltough I get a head of myself, I was still on the outskirts of the city. I had looked up an albergue in my guide that seemed like a nice place and in searching for it I somehow also walked out of the city (on the opposite side) I was listening to The Jinn & the Golem and it was in the middle of a very riveting part of the story so I might not have payed as much attention as I should. I was still on the Camino so I could just have continued if I had wanted to. However I came upon an albergue and poked my head in and it looked  desolate, had it not been for the fact that it was still bright daylight out this place would look like a nice place to film a horror movie… it had that kind of vibe to it.  

However my feet felt fine and I was in good spirits so I decided to backtrack the entire way to the city which would be about an hours walk from where I currently was.

I then found an very nice albergue which I of course had walked straight past earlier, I had not even noticed it. I checked in and was shown to my assigned room … soon after I was joined by Madeleine and Thomas which came from Austria and if my memory is not completely blown I think they were from Wien. 

Which leads well in to another story that I can’t remember when happened, but I met Madeleine and Thomas in a super market and I was just walking around browsing for stuff and trying to come up with an idea as to what I should make that evening for dinner. As I browsed the produce section we ran into each other again and started chatting a bit. During which the subject of the price of things came up and Thomas mentioned that most things seemed cheap and before I could even respond Madeleine quipped “He is from Norway, for him, everything here is cheap” My only response to that was trying not to buckle over from laughing because it was both very true and just what I was going to say. 

But then back to Astorga, during the day there was people running and walking around in costumes and having mock battles it was awesome. Between being a spectator at those I did some sightseeing and spotted more than one souvenir that would have made awesome gag gifts. But since I still had quite a way to go on the Camino and anything I bought I would have to carry with me I quickly put any shopping out of my mind, instead I started thinking about what I wanted my next adventure to be. Not even done with the current one and I started the next, most that was the Camino will end up suffering from the post-camino-blues .. I had read about it on the forums that I browsed and read in preparation for my own camino. So this was my strategy in dealing with it, having a new adventure ready to plan when I got home. As it happened what I came up with the then did not become my current plans. 

My current plan for this years adventure is another Camino, I will be doing the Camino Primitivo this year. However I digress. 

I found a grocery store and bought stuff to make myself a salat with cheese, ham and fresh bread.. and then found my way to the terrace and sat down to eat… as I did so this was my view

  
The view was of the houses and buildings outside the city wall, facing the direction you walked in from … After enjoying some fresh bread with my salad, which incidentally restored my faith in Spanish bakeries since up until this point I had only had dry bocadillos from caf├ęs when it came to bread. 

You will get sick of bread on the Camino … I don’t care how much you love bread.. you will get sick of it. I was told this as well and thought it was just exaggerated, a tale told to would be pilgrims to warn them off perhaps. No, that was not the case.

After this I ventured out and sat down at a cafe and just took in the city and the festival, I decided not take pictures of since I felt that I would then try and get a good picture rather than to experience the festival.

Camino de Santiago: Day 18 (?)

Going from Virgen del Camino to Villavante

Me and Barbara started out together and had a pleasant walk, sort of leapfrogging past each other and stopping for a bit of chit chat every time we passed each other. I stopped for lunch at a nondescript place and placed myself at a table under a tree and had a fresh glass of orange juice and a tortilla (basically a fluffy omelette with potatoes and about 5cm thick, that is 2 inches for you silly people)

The day progressed nicely, and the walk was pleasant. Even my foot was now recovered and I was almost skipping out of happiness everytime I tested my foot and found that it was still good and there was no pain. All blisters had hardend and the threat of full blown tendinitis had passed.

I was also acutely aware that I was now getting closer and closer, I mean *duh* of course I was, but when you start out with the idea of walking 800km it does not really stick, it seems absurd. Then you get closed and closed and suddenly you realise that this journey indeed does have an end… but the biggest wierdness for the day was when I arrived in Villavente. I decided to stop there even if I had only walked 25km for the day, deciding that I would not push my feet to far now that they finally were recovered.

I was the first to arrive at the albergue, which was a first. I popped my head in the door and gave a shout of “Hola!” and I heard a screeching reply of “Hoola!” but nothing more, so I went in and found a bird (unsure of species, so the general term bird will have to do) sitting there.. so I hung out with it until someone came along and seemed surprised that there would be someone there so early I think I arrived there about 11 or so. However I got checked in and since I had plenty of time I took a long shower, did my laundry and took a small siesta waiting for it to cool down a bit before I headed out to do some sightseeing.

 

I walked around a bit but it was a small town and not much to do, so I basically just relaxed and took naps between relaxing, and then I went to bed.. ready for a new day.