Day 21 – Murais de Rechivaldo
I had a decent sleep last night. However, when I went to the bathroom this morning I forgot to take my satchel with me. Someone took the opportunity to steal 50 euros, my photos, and some papers from me. Bastard. I didn’t even notice until I was just past San Juan de la Vega.
The day started well though. Keith, Peter, Morag, and I left together and had a nice walk to Villares de Orbigo. We separated as we walked and predictably Keith arrived first. In Villares de Orbigo we had a couple of café con leches and pastries. While sitting there we met Michelle. She is a South African who was doing the Camino at a fairly fast pace. She is very fit and seems to be keeping a high pace. We chatted about the life and in particular the state of South Africa. She did not seem hopeful. She was specifically concerned that basic infrastructure is slowly deteriorating. She had recently accepted an job in Europe and she expected not to return to South Africa anytime soon.
I walked by myself for a while with little or no pain. It was wonderful. The countryside was beautiful and the sun shone warm while a nice breeze kept it from getting too warm. I came upon a lovely pilgrim’s monument set up by some artistic local. I turned left there and came upon a lovely little valley amongst the rolling hills. There was a tiny bench sitting along the path in the centre of the valley. I unburdened my pack, sat down, pulled off my shoes and socks, and started on some chocolate as I sat with the sun on my face and the loveliest wind slipping over me. It was heaven. Shortly, Peter and Morag came by and joined me. It was nice to share such a beautiful spot and the chocolate.
We walked together up to San Justo de la Vega where we had a café con leche together. I then walked ahead to met Keith at the Bishop’s Palace. It was there that I noticed the missing money, photo, and papers.
In Astorga I hunted down a bank to get some more funds and then I joined my fellow pilgrims for some lunch and drinks. I checked out the palace and found it interesting, but not too strange. I was surprised as the Bishop thought it somewhat outlandish and refused to move in. There are three lovely angles overlooking the front of the palace that I thought were particularly nice. On our way out of the town we chanced upon a little church that isn’t mentioned in any of our guide books. Which is too bad, it has amazing mosaics depicting the Camino! Very nice work, but it doesn’t seem to get noticed.
I arrived in Murais de Rechivaldo a little after Keith. It is a nice small town and the albergue is on the far end of town right beside a long expanse of the meseta. I got my spot, did some laundry, had a shower, bandaged my feet, and then sat in the courtyard in the sun with Peter and Morag and a round of cerveza. It was actually a bit cool, but the company was good and the albergue itself was very atmospheric. Keith and I made a short trip to the local bar so he could call Alice. I kept time for him on the phone’s meter and enjoyed a tonica which he chatted with Alice. We eventually trotted back to the albergue to met up with Peter and Morag for supper. We walked over to a small local restaurant for a decent enough meal. We were in the dining room all by ourselves with the locals all in the adjoining lounge area. We sat down and the first thing the staff did was turn on the TV for us. We politely asked that he turn it off again. Finally, it was off to the albergue to some rest.
Soundscape: More Birds