DAY 13 Sunday, June 7, 2015. Astorga to Rabanal del Camino ( 24 km )

Farewell to Astorga, a very nice town with lovely people. Today is their Corpus Christi celebration. Locals were decorating the main square with a design made of wild flower petals. Balcony rails and windows were draped with red and yellow banners and flags. Later a gilded cart adorned with flowers (like a small parade float), carrying a statue of Jesus, will be paraded from the cathedral through the town and back. Unfortunately, we had to get back to the Camino, but it was fun to see the preparations.
After our marathon of a walk two days ago we were not too concerned about doing 23 Km. The path was good ( light gravel and sand), not too near the road and there was purported to be shade. The temperature was very warm for walking (35 C), but dressed for the heat and carrying plenty of water and cooling scarves, we headed out. For 20 Km our frequent rest and hydration stops and a wonderful medley of birdsong, carried us through. Although there were now pine and oak forests dotted with bright purple Spanish heather, the path was not shaded. Rod began carrying his and Delana’s packs as she was feeling quite weak.
We managed the final 3 Km into Rabanal del Camino, to find that our hotel rural was at the top of the hill, of course. Just knowing that rest was nearby gave Delana a spurt of energy and we were soon there.
After showers and a rest we went downstairs for dinner. As neither of us was all that hungry we shared the Pilgrim’s Menu (always large portions).
There was a jolly group of pilgrims who launched into a rendition of “Amazing Grace” which we know we will carry in our heads tomorrow. Rather a fitting melody for the Camino.
The family running this hotel and restaurant work very hard and are so pleasant. Knowing it had been a hard day, when Delana’s cafe con leche arrived, there was a little Camino directional arrow in the foam— a sweet sign of encouragement for her.
Tomorrow we start climbing, so off to bed —buenas noches!

Covered in beautifully arranged fresh flowers, we caught this Corpus Christi parade entrant in the Cathedral.
Covered in beautifully arranged fresh flowers, we caught this Corpus Christi parade entrant in the Cathedral.
Pilgram's like to make cairns, inukshuks and leave rocks behind ( we are carrying a few  - from our beach and from St Jean, where we started the Camino, both to be placed at the trail's end in Santiago). More about that tradition later. Here anything that could be used to make a cross has been used - over 500 meters of fence hosts thousands of crosses.
Pilgrims like to make cairns, inukshuks and leave rocks behind ( we are carrying a few – from our beach and from St Jean, where we started the Camino, both to be placed at Cruz de Ferro and the trail’s end in Santiago). More about that tradition later. Here anything that could be used to make a cross has been used – over 500 meters of fence hosts thousands of crosses.
A special Pilgrims coffee.
A special Pilgrims coffee. ( Not where I wanted this picture to be!!)
It is absolutely amazing what a little bit oh imagination can do. The yellow is from broom, the purple from petunias and the green - simply cut evergreens.
Getting ready for Corpus Christi day. It is absolutely amazing what a little bit of imagination can do. The yellow is from broom, the purple from Spanish lavender and the green – simply cut evergreens.
Camino capitalism at work. Here an artist has set up a table, miles from anywhere, and is selling his Camino inspired hand made items.  Others set up a snack and drink stand, again strategically placed, just where a thirsty pilgram' really needs a break. But the Camino lesson: everything we have seen being sold on the Camino, is either by donation or at prices well below the already low Spanish prices.
Camino capitalism at work. Here an artist has set up a table, miles from anywhere, and is selling his Camino inspired hand made items. Others set up a snack and drink stand, again strategically placed, just where a thirsty pilgrim really needs a break. But the Camino lesson: everything we have seen being sold on the Camino, is either by donation ( see sign on his table)  or at prices well below the already low Spanish prices.
Typical of our accomodation along the way - for the most part family run hotels, with as many as 20+ rooms and serving great european breakfasts ( fruit, yogurt, cheeses, meats, breads, fresh OJ and coffee to put Starbucks to shame! Dinner featuring huge portions of good food, including desert and wine is optional: the pilgram's meal that I have just described costs from 10 - 12 euros ( $14 to $17 CA )
Typical of our accomodation along the way – for the most part family run hotels, with as many as 20+ rooms and serving great European  breakfasts ( fruit, yogurt, cheeses, meats, breads, fresh OJ and coffee to put Starbucks to shame!
Dinner featuring huge portions of good food, including desert and wine is optional: the pilgrim’s meal that I have just described costs from 10 – 12 euros ( $14 to $17 CA )
Every day we are treated to a chorus of songbirds, determined to lift our feet and spirits. Here is one little guy sitting atop some broom, just  determined to make us smile.
Every day we are treated to a chorus of songbirds, determined to lift our feet and spirits. Here is one little guy sitting atop some broom, just determined to make us smile. This little fellow has green wings, thus “verdecilla”.
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