Credencial de Peregrino: A pilgrim's passport.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

It pays to speak a little Spanish. First of all, I found out about a treasure in Rabanal del Camino--the Albergue El Pilar. It is a family run place with a fantasic vibe. From the moment I entered the puerta and took off my shoes, the hostess was getting me a cold beer and something to eat. Along the Camino, you grow to really appreciate a hot shower and a clean bunk. As usual, I was asked to sleep on the top bunk and save the lower bunk for the older folks with bad knees. If only they knew...

Today, the walk was only 20 km. I left Astorga at 7:30 am and arrived at 11:30. Somehow, I really cruised. I was alone except for the 4 km I walked with a local from Astorga. I noticed him in the distance. He was walking alone and without a backback. He was carefully inspecting trees along the Camino. I knew he was not a pilgrim, but instead a local who had lived most of his long years in the area and cared deeply for it. Instantly I was drawn to him, and when I was finally alongside him I ventured to speak, "Hola, buenos dias". He smiled and we began a nice conversation in Spanish. He complimented me on knowing some Spanish. I think most people here will tell you how good your Spanish is just for trying. Nice. It was a lovely way to spend 4 km on the planet. I´m glad that I slowed down to speak with him.

So, that´s it really. I walked 20 km. I showered. I washed out my clothes. I made up my bunk. Drank a beer. Will dine with other pilgrims tonight. Simple. Just as it should be in my far away world.

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