When I woke up my lower back was a little stiff and ached slightly but nothing I couldn't ignore or would get away once the old body got warm.
Once again I headed off at 6.00 and was I'm complete darkness on my own. I truly love these mornings. It is quiet, you are on your own, the air is chilly and then you get to experience the sun rising. Today was the most beautiful sunrise I have seen thus far.
One of the villages I passed. Still asleep.
A bar on my way (closed as you see and that is the reason why I eat breakfast rather late. It is out necessity more than wish since the bars open late around here) I took this picture since it is a funny name. Cowboy?!
I love the light. Here a house in El Ganso. I love that name too. ;-)
The landscape was so much more appealing to me today than yesterday. It was hilly and I kept seeing the mountains getting closer and I knew I had to climb one of them today. Yay just yay! :-)
of various designs and sizes.
I reached Rabanal after 17 kms and then it was time for coffee and breakfast. Rabanal is a very cozy village and popular and peregrinos as this small place was very busy at 9.15 when I reached it.
Church of Rabanal (I could definitely improve my camera skills. Sorry. I am hardly ever able to see the screen due to the sun. Bear with me on this one. :-))
I need to let my body rest more often that I have done so far so I decided to enjoy the atmosphere until 10.00.
And then the climb started. :-) Finally I felt like I was actually being active and it felt nice to get my pulse up.
Up we go.
After some steep passages and an hour and fifteen minutes later I reached Foncebadon which is 6 kms away from Rabanal.
It was a very small village that clearly made a living off the Camino. I had a short break and supported the locals by buying some refreshment.
But the climb was far from done. I had to get to 1500 metres of altitude. Quite a lot for a flatlander whose country can present the highest point at 120 meters above sea level. Or something like that.
Still not at the top. I enjoyed the walk though! Fresh air, lovely breeze, challenging but not too much. I had a big smile on my face the entire day. :-)
On the way to the top the iron cross is passed where you can leave behind your troubles by putting down a stone you brought with you. The stone represent the burden you want to leave behind and then you should feel the weight lift from you shoulders. My shoulders still feel heavy but maybe it takes some time to kick in. ;-)
People leave more than stones behind.
And then I was almost at the top.
I don't plan where to stop as I want to let my body tell me when to stop. However I do check out my options as 11 kms for instance is quite a lot If I can only do an additional four. In generals the albergues are not far from each other but you do have some longer sections. I had the option of either stopping at Majarin after 27 kms or keep on going to El Acebo 34 kms away from today's starting point.
Once I reached Majarin I still felt pretty good so I decided to keep on. Besides the climbing was done so now descending was all I had to do and how difficult can that be? ;-)
Albergue in Majarin. Looked nice but I walked on.
Sign at the albergue of Majarin. 222 kms to Santiago. :-)
Not a lot of English is spoken or even understood here and reading this sign I had to smile. Huh? I guess they mean the descend is steep so one shouldn't pedal to much but I am not quite sure. :-)
I tripped on the way and fell hard. And it was on an easy flat passage but walking and drinking at the same time is obviously not for everyone. ;-) I twisted my ankle but luckily instead of adding weight once it happened I chose to fall flat down on my stomach. That resulted in a bruised knee and elbow but nothing serious and far better than a sprained ankle!
Injured ninja. I will spare you of the bloody version.
Imagine living down there surrounded by mountains.
My view today. It makes me happy!
VERY steep descend to El Acebo. You can't really see it here but believe me. The entire descend was steep actually but nothing like this. I fear how the thighs and buttocks will feel tomorrow.
Finally in El Acebo after 34 kms.
But then it turned out I couldn't get a bed! For an additional €17 I could get a private room. No way Jose, so instead I was pontes to another Albergue 50 metres down the road. When I had left El Acebo I still hadn't passed the place! I don't have a lot if rules on this trip but one of them is never going back especially not if it is uphill. So I decided to go to the next place, Riego de Ambros. Another 4 kms away. Yep, that's a total of 38 kms today!! And that is in a challenging route. Am quite proud of myself I must say. :-)
Once I arrived at 15.00 after 9 hours on the roadI almost felt as tired as this (three legged!) dog.
And by the way, no trouble from my back the entire day and I even stayed off the pills. Let's hope it stays that way (fingers crossed, knock on wood and what not)
Adios from the mountains. :-)