Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 28 - Astorga - Sunday, 17 May 2009

Astorga (256K to Santiago!)

The days and nights are filled with ups and downs; some are emotional while others are physical.

I did not really enjoy my experiences in Leon. It is a beautiful city and there were lovely moments, but as in Burgos, in Leon I found myself feeling like an outsider, like a homeless person. I struggled with my attitude during my short stay there. I was exhausted.

I am quite glad to leave the city behind me, just an image in my metaphorical rear-view mirror.

I am now miles and miles down the road now and journaling again. My spirits are better.

Today was a lovely walking day. I found myself striding along with a couple delightful young women. (One is a soldier in UK and the other a Yale graduate originally from Romania). We sang silly songs and laughed a lot. It was healing for me.

As I head west, the terrain changes. I am reminded of the forest in the film “The Big Fish”.

The albergue is pleasant. There are about ten people per room. I have a wonderful view from my upper bunk – the city of Astorga stretches out in the valley outside my window and the moon shines in, lighting the notebook I am writing in. My suitemates include three people from Slovakia who just started their Camino in Leon – they are dealing with foot issues and overweight packs. There is a delightful Dutch man and a Danish woman and a German woman plus my two walking partners of the day.

When we returned from dinner tonight we were all in a crazy mood – lots of laughing and sharing stories, long after the lights went out. Just when we were dozing off the very tall  Dutch man fell from the upper bunk, making us all laugh. He became known as the Flying Dutchman. We were all like children at a slumber party.

Tomorrow, I will climb one of the two most challenging mountains on this journey. Tomorrow, I will write from the top of the mountain.

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