Day 28 Astorga to Rabanal 6hrs 54mins 21.22km – The Fräulein with the package!

Well after a great sleep in a real bed it was destined to be another good day wasn’t it? We left a little later than usual, a shorter day, it was a bit cooler, and we wanted our E75 euros worth at the nice hotel so we headed out past the Cathedral at 8am! It definitely was another great day for my feet. I wore my woolly jumper and my coat! I was freezing!

We passed a heap of army recruits jogging back to base and wondered how fit they really were. Actually no we didnt – we just thought thank heavens we don’t have to run!

We stopped for breakfast first and then we stopped at the Cowboy bar and marvelled at the lack of business sense shown by the fellow with his stall set up opposite. Big warning signs – NO PHOTOS etc etc! Was he an escaped criminal? Did he have a price on his head? It didnt matter. I didnt want to visit. Not sure what he was selling but it didnt interest me. Just before this my beloved stopped and chatted to an injured Irish man who just happened to be called Thomas. He informed him that his Graham relatives were shipped to Ireland from Scotland and their name was changed to Maharg – apparently they were too much trouble – even compared to other Scots! That explains it.

Because it was mainly roads and clear paths with a gentle slope uphill it was great for me and I was seen powering along the dirt tracks in a trance at times. Okay I imagine I was powering along. Whether I was seen Or not is irrelevant. I was probably going at a normal pace and was, at least for a few kilometres, not noticeably slow. At least until we hit the sharp rocks a few kilometres out of Rabanal! We skirted around a bit on the road to start with and saw a couple of injured warriors hitch a bit of a lift on a horse and cart! Irish Thomas just may have been involved in this scandal! We saw the rows of timber crosses that we had seen last time and this time I contributed. I made my own cross and left it in the fence.

We arrived at Rabanal and decided to take a dormitory bed in the Albergue we had enjoyed last time. We were not always in the same towns and tried not to be in the same hostels unless we particularly liked the experience. We had a double last time but this time took two cama bajas in the first dorm (bottom bunks).

The first sign of worry was when we were making our beds and getting ready to do the washing. There must have been 40 or 50 in the dorm and there were already a large number of snorers! Oh well – on the positive Irish Thomas had pulled in, we had a message from the Fräulein and the Young Ones were also in town at a different albergue.

Dropped in to see gregorian chanting but somehow enjoyed the nuns in León more – maybe it’s not about that .. but anyway. Ate some great food.

Rumours also abounded that the Sommelier would cook for us if we could make ponferrada tomorrow. The chance of that was slim to none but the thought was wonderful! Thanks to the Oracle for keeping us in the loop.

Anyway the Fräulein had been shipping a package of post camino gear forward for a number of days. I had even thrown some things in before we sent them on at Leon. But it was only today that the Albergue refused to accept the package. If you don’t carry your belongings you are not welcome at the Donativo in Rabanal. But she was carrying her camino belongings. These were extras. The hospitalarios weighed her pack and agreed she could stay. But they wanted to go through her pack and show her what to throw out!

“You’re not going through my pack!” We were all wondering – Is this what God wants? What if you have a package for after the camino? The package ended up somewhere else. Our Fräulein had endured a difficult day. The volunteers were not skilled in helping pilgrims in dire straits desafortunatemente.

The young ones and Fräulein
The package

We finished the night at our albergue with Irish Thomas, The young ones, the Fräulein and her package which we were going to send on for her, and a number of other nice pilgrims we were destined to meet again.

Buenas noches!

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