Day 31 – Astorga to Rabanal Del Camino 21km

One month of walking! It’s been a joy! Can’t wait to get up every morning and walk across the canvas for the day!

Leaving the beautiful town of Astorga, we hit the highway. A little outside town we see a chapel opening. A prayer and a sign of the cross with the holy water there, we head to Rabanal Del Camino.

The sunrise looks like the sky is ablaze! We heard news of the fires in parts where we’d walked, close to Pamplona as well as to the south of Astorga. One or two of the albergues in Puente del Reina (after Pamplona on the way) were badly affected by the flames, not to mention the loss of pilgrim business as they had to close paths in the region. Yesterday John smelt fire in Astorga and we heard from others who’d dried their clothes on the line, in their hotels, that there was soot on the clothes. The winds had carried ash from the fires south of Astorga!

Rabanal del Camino is a beautiful town with a lot of options for pilgrims to stay. Cobbled streets and stones houses with pretty flowering pots, the town is picturesque! The climb into the mountains starts from here and because of the beautiful trails there are a lot of tourists in town.

The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, from the 12th century, declared as a Site of Cultural Interest and one of the few remaining temples of the Leonese rural Romanesque is where we go for Sunday mass at 12.30pm. It’s a humble church and serviced by the Benedictine monks from the monastery near by.

The weather has changed. It’s raining in the afternoon and there’s a chill in the air. Tomorrow’s hike up into the mountains is something we’re looking forward to! It’s one of the most special parts of the route to Santiago!

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