Friday, April 29
Villavante to Astorga
22.6 km / 14 miles
6 am alarm today!
When I wake up, the first thing I do is take inventory of my body. Are my legs better? Are my feet throbbing? Are they even still attached? I slowly bend them up and down to see. Sometimes pleasantly surprised, other times disappointed that yesterday icing efforts did not help.
Today everything felt good, perhaps because I iced my legs for an hour yesterday and slept with my legs and feet elevated on two blankets.
Okay never mind. 15 minutes in to my walk today and my left leg began hurting again. Luckily, I sent my backpack forward and hoped for a little relief and healing since it was a shorter day, only 23 km.
It was a hazy morning. Usually, I climb a hill or look back at the town I just left, only to witness a beautifully peaceful sunrise, illuminating the farms, villages, and sky. But today, just a layer of haze and a fuzzy white sun. I suppose that’s because the beginning of today was through a less than exciting industrial area. It even smelt awful. But once I passed through Villares de Orbigo, I returned to a hill dirt road through fields. The hills were nice actually, adding a bit of variety to the day. And I might regret saying this, but I loved the inclines; my legs felt good going uphill for some reason.
I love passing people along the way. Most of the time I overhear them comparing injuries, what hurts, what helps. It’s usually the same pain in their leg (also the left) that I have. Im not sure why that is or if it makes me feel better, but I guess injuries are extremely common among pilgrims walking 800+ kilometers.
Maybe 16 km in, there was an awesome rest area, with coffees, teas, fruits, breads. It was all for pilgrims, and donation-based, providing a cute midday refuge to rest and refuel.
I arrived to Astorga around 12:30pm. After checking in, I explored the Astorga Chocolate Museum, since Astorga is famous for its introduction of chocolate to Europe and its influence over the trade routes. And they even provided a little local chocolate tasting at the end. Yum!
After that, I explored town some more, walking through lively plazas and alleys, and visiting the Palace of Gaudi. Originally designed for the bishop, it is now a beautiful museum and one of Gaudi’s only architectural masterpieces outside of Catalina. I was able to visit another in León.
€11 Pain Spray