Day #1 - Astorga to Rabanal 21.4 kms. (13.3 miles) - 7+ hrs. Walking
The first hour is spent in the process of adjustment: tying & retying shoes, making various adjustments as to how my backpack is riding--more of this than actual walking. But I remember from my training walks that the first hour is frequently the most difficult. It turns out that this was really too long a walk for the first day out. I meet a mother & daughter pair from France who have been doing sections of the Camino for six years running & they, too, are starting from Astorga, but have planned to walk only 8 kms. & later meet others who also think it is better to start out slowly. Well, I definitely was going slowly as everyone I met was passing me by. A bit of a tough day, intermittently raining, very windy and with some elevation. But I also saw some of the old villages that I was hoping to pass on this walk, so that was exciting. The good news was that my legs felt fine--clearly the training walks were well worth the time & energy. But my feet really hurt--not just from blisters, but all over. On the other hand the albergue (pilgrim hostel) was great: clean & comfortable for €4 with hot showers (& since I was so late, there was no competition). Pilgrims menu of two courses, bread, wine, bottled water & dessert for €10. And I found a meal I could eat: insalada mixta con atún (salad with tuna). Lights out at 10 pm at the albergue & it would have been a perfect sleep except for the early risers who begin packing up before 5 am with their flashlights & crinkling plastic sacks. The snoring did not bother me, but hard to sleep thru this group (& I have no idea why they would want to leave in the dark when it's cold & with no breakfast!). So i wake the next day convinced that I will take it easier & will never start walking without breakfast. A successful first day mainly because it was hard, but no tears on the side of the road.
Palacio de Gaudi which is now an art museum in Astorga. Posted using BlogPress from Dusty's iPad.