Date: Tue 28th May
Distance: 21 km
Temperature: Icy cold
Left: Astorga 10:30am
Arrived: Rabanal 4:15pm
Santiago de Composela: 243 km
Highlight: Pilgrims Blessing by Benedictine Monks
We checked out of our wonderful hotel after a very satisfying breakfast and made our way to the cathedral. Unfortunately no photos allowed and no stamp was to be had! The sun was shining but a very icy wind blew. A stamp was secured at the Gaudi Museum and we were on our way.
The path gently rose as we passed through fairly open and at times scrubby scenery. We quickly found our land legs and walked without impediment. The skies were very stormy, however we managed to walk most of our journey without rain, despite being in our full wet weather/cold weather gear. Today has been by far the coldest day yet. We seemed to inch closer to the snow capped mountains and it felt like the wind was blowing directly off them. 4 layers of clothing and 3 types of head gear kept us relatively cosy.
It was a welcome change back to the picturesque (medieval ) villages that we’d missed when riding across the Meseta and we passed through a number of these before reaching our final destination. Due to the late start we ended up with a late lunch that was had on the side of the trail. Rabanal, our stop for the day was only a further 2 km down the road.
After checking in to the Hostel and ordering a nice hot chocolate to warm us up, it was off to the evening Vespers conducted by the Benedictine Monks followed by a nice hearty meal back at the Restuarant attached to our Hostal. We finishing off the evening by returning to the Church for a Pilgrims blessing again conducted by the monks. (One of us now feels the calling!)