Day Fifty Three

Again I don’t even wake up until 6am, it’s half an hour before I move. It’s cold. I have to get up, but I’m so comfortable…
I get up and begin to pack, once again most people have already left. I join Michael and Bruno for some breakfast ‘ColaCao’ (it’s like nesquik but according to Pepa back in Logroño it’s Olympic?!)
Bruno and I head out, it’s cold, Michael wants to leave after us as he wants to arrive at the Cruz de Ferro alone for spiritual reasons. Traditionally pilgrims had brought a stone from home to place at the base of this tall cross, more recently people had left all kinds of things. Me, being the backwards thinking person that I am, decided I would take a stone and carry it with me! The theory being if these stones represent peoples sins (let’s face it, why else would you carry a rock across the country?), I would take this persons sin and carry it with. I may decide to give it to the sea to wash clean at Finisterre, I may carry it home with me.
From here it’s mainly downhill all the way to Ponferrada, 25km away, making it another 27km day.
There are many pilgrims again today and despite being in sight of the guys, we all have our own pace and it works fine. We talk for a while and then carry on alone for a while.
I see many butterflies today and the walk between the valleys is beautiful (it’s making me think I want to live back up North in the Lakes), the villages are very peaceful with overhanging balconies and the roofs have changed to slate.
Once we arrive in town we find the albergue and get allocated beds. After showering and washing clothes we go for a wander. Bruno and I see a sign for Mc Donalds and decide we should investigate… Twenty minutes later and we are stuffing our faces with enough to feed a whole family!
When we get back to the albergue Michael introduces us to Rachael, a New Zealand chef. He’s asked her to cook for us tonight…?! We then proceed to walk all the way back across town to visit the bus station with Rachael, before looking for a supermarket. Rachael cooks us an amazing risotto with chicken and wild mushrooms. Nikki & Katja join us for a glass of wine.
The night is enjoyable and we are some of the last to head to bed…

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About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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