Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 23: Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

Today was a long day...35 kilometers. I walked with Ilene, my Lousiana buddy. We talked some, but not the whole time, which I was totally good with. This gave me time to pray and what not.

We left fairly early to give us extra time due to the long distance. The stars and moon were shining bright! It was really nice. 

Some early morning views...

I was (and am) glad that the Meseta is hills and mountains are back! This means more climbing was involved today.

We quickly came upon our first town. No one was looked like a ghost town. 

About 2 hours into the walk, my breakfast was starting to wear off. I ate 2 eggs and 2 small things of yogurt...a lot, I know. I have been eating so much....I think I am getting fatter (my daily chocolate doesn't help any).

The scenery while I walked was amazing. I tried to take it all in, and remember that I am walking across Spain. It's hard to remember. All of this just seems normal now...get up, walk, go to bed, and do it all over again. However, I LOVE it! It's an experience that I wouldn't change for the world.

For a long time, we didn't see any other pilgrims. It wasn't until we stopped at a larger town where the main trial joined the alternative one did we see other pilgrims.

Like I said, the Meseta was flat and now we are climbing hills again. It was a little rough just because I've had it easy for a little while. However, it felt so good to do some climbing. When I got to the top of the "big" hill, there was a nice surprise.

After this, it was time to enter Astorga. It took forever to get there! It wasn't direct route...the signs took me half way around the world. My feet were so tired! Then it took another 30 minutes just to find the albergue. I wanted to stay near the big cathedrals and more inside the city, and this place was hidden. I think we asked 5 people where it was. The view from this place is amazing....a great view of the cathedral!

Along the way Ilene and I talked about what we have learned our experiences so far. Me....don't have a clue. I do know that God is moving, but not sure what's going on yet.

Ilene and I were so hungry after our walk that we splurged on lunch today. It was really good!

The supermarket was the next stop for breakfast and dinner. This place was huge! It was like I was back home! I got stuff for grilled cheese sandwiches...yum! When I went to go pay, the check-out lady didn't think my card would work because she couldn't find the numbers on the card. I showed her and she thought she needed to make sure it was mine...asked for passport. The look of surprise on her face when the card worked was priceless.

Since I went sight seeing during siesta time, I wasn't able to see much....
(Couldn't find the sign for this place)
(The local church)

I found a nice little garden area that had a great view of parts of the city.

This is just a neat place.
(This is represents a lot of packs that I have seen people carrying)
(Chocote is a big deal here)

I went to go tour the Astorga Cathedral and the Gaudi building. I didn't realize how tired my legs were....about half way through the cathedral tour, I was ready to go and sit for the rest of the day! Now it's time to plan for the next day, journal/pray, and cook dinner.

I did a separate post for the cathedral and the Gaudi building. There are just too many pictures to put onto this post.

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