We reluctantly departed the very friendly and warm Albergue in Rabanal this morning as the day started cold and wet. I walked the first few km with Jolanta but she had developed an allergic rash and was feeling queasy so she stopped at the next village , Foncebadon.
There was then a steady climb for a few km until we arrived at one of the most famous symbols of The Camino , the Cruz de Ferro , where a simple iron cross stands at the top of a weathered pole. It’s tradition that the Pilgrims deposit a stone here that they have carried from home to either to ask for protection on the remainder of the journey or for some other intention. Today the cross stands on top of a 5m high pile of stones. I added a stone I had brought from our garden and another that Megan had asked me to place there ( one of the Aussie girls I’d met in the first week ). I wondered if there were any other stones from Wigan in the pile , a few I’d guess.
The steady climb continued to the highest point on The Camino at 4,970 ft. Although there was a lot of cloud the views were still spectacular. The little villages we then passed through on the descent looked more Alpine than Spanish. Apparently a lot of these villages were virtually deserted before the revival of the Camino and it’s good to see the houses now being restored and some life returning.
In the afternoon we had a gradual descent and I walked in the company of Lou , from London , and Jack , a Canadian who has recently retired as a music teacher. Jack has a very wacky sense of humour and is very good company. He has brought a Ukulele with him and stops every so often to play and sing.
A gang of us went out for Dinner tonight , including Forrest who I hadn’t seen in about a week. Peter ( of Shepherd fame ) is about a day’s walk ahead of me and I had a text from him today telling me that he had ” another strange Camino incident ” yesterday. I’m looking forward to hearing the tale.