Walking the Camino de Santiago from Leon to Santiago
While it would be difficult to pin down a favorite day, the walk to Molinaseca from Rabanal certainly ranks among the top. It was a long and arduous day, trudging across the mountains. It was cool at the base and as we climbed higher and higher up the mountain, the clouds hung in a deep, heavy mist. I took the first part of the walk at a brisk pace since about ten kilometers into the walk, near the top of the mountain, was the Cruz de Ferro.
The Cruz de Ferro is an iron cross (hence the name) rising above a pile of stones, each one left by pilgrims over the centuries. According to the tradition, the pilgrim carries a rock with him, taking on as penance the physical embodiment and burden of his sins. Having trudged for miles with it, he leaves it at the foot of Christ on the cross. Each person left behind their own burden and then freed from it, continued on their way up and down the mountains for another twenty kilometers. The veiws were beautiful but climbing in and out of mountains and valleys was tiring and we were rightly proud of ourselves when we reached Molinaseca.
We spent the early afternoon in the bright sun, sitting on the riverbank near a quaint (and medieval) stone bridge leading into town.
Our albergue was still closed for cleaning, so we took advantage of the warmth of the sun, the cool water of the river on our sore feet and (in my case) the opportunity to do laundry for free in the river. The food in Molinaseca was some of the best we´ve encountered and it was there that a few of us had our first taste of pulpo, known to Americans as octopus. Tastes like lobster.
Just for good measure, here´s Santiago himself in the town center:
Our albergue was very nice, especially the spacious room and the views from the windows. Molinaseca is a resort town, and you can see why:
We played a game of mafia before bed, and thus ended another day on the Camino de Santiago.