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Day 21: Hiking My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

August 9, 2018


Today was only a 16.66 mile walk from Villavante to Astorga. It was welcomed after yesterday’s longer walk and tomorrow’s more difficult walk (but that is for tomorrow).

I forgot to mention yesterday that I met another German. His name was Wilson and he started walking from Germany on May 7th. He shared that a contract ended and a new contract would start in September. So he started walking. He is unlike other pilgrims I have met in that he walks at an unusual pace by stopping frequently and walking during the heat of the day. He stops when he feels like it but will walk 40 kilometers or more without batting an eye. He loves his solitude on the walk because he feels closer to God when he walks alone.


Today, I walked alone to breakfast where Tonnie and Ilka joined me. I walked the remainder of the way with them. Ilka is a German who started her Camino last year. She returned this year to the point she stopped last year and will complete her Camino this year. She is a teacher.


The photo I have included is of a cross on the Camino de Santiago overlooking the city of Astorga. If you look closely, you will be able to see the Cathedral in Astorga to my right (your left).


By the way, I am now officially out of the Meseta. You may recall the concern I heard from some other pilgrims about the Meseta, ambushes, etc. It was definitely hot but the fears were unfounded.


I look forward to the sharing what happens tomorrow and the next day. They will present two very different walks and a unique opportunity. Talk to you soon!


To Advance to the next post, click here.

See additional photos from August 9th below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. As you know by now, a pilgrim watches for yellow arrows to make sure they stay on the proper trail. In this case, someone took the time to place rocks in the middle of the trail in the form of an arrow.

  2. This is the impressive Gothic bridge over the Río Órbigo that is the site of a legendary medieval jousting competition. Don Suero de Quiñones, a wealthy Leonese knight, was rejected by the woman he loved. In his heartbreak, he locked his neck in an iron collar and swore he would not take it off until he defeated 300 knights in jousting. The call went out, and knights from all over the kingdom came in the Holy Year of 1434. Quiñones succeeded in his quest, freeing him from the torment of love. He took off the collar and made a pilgrimage to Santiago where he left a bejeweled bracelet, which can still be seen in the cathedral museum. The bridge became known as "El Paso Honroso" (the Honorable Pass).

  3. This is the impressive Gothic bridge over the Río Órbigo that is the site of a legendary medieval jousting competition. Don Suero de Quiñones, a wealthy Leonese knight, was rejected by the woman he loved. In his heartbreak, he locked his neck in an iron collar and swore he would not take it off until he defeated 300 knights in jousting. The call went out, and knights from all over the kingdom came in the Holy Year of 1434. Quiñones succeeded in his quest, freeing him from the torment of love. He took off the collar and made a pilgrimage to Santiago where he left a bejeweled bracelet, which can still be seen in the cathedral museum. The bridge became known as "El Paso Honroso" (the Honorable Pass).

  4. This is the impressive Gothic bridge over the Río Órbigo that is the site of a legendary medieval jousting competition. Don Suero de Quiñones, a wealthy Leonese knight, was rejected by the woman he loved. In his heartbreak, he locked his neck in an iron collar and swore he would not take it off until he defeated 300 knights in jousting. The call went out, and knights from all over the kingdom came in the Holy Year of 1434. Quiñones succeeded in his quest, freeing him from the torment of love. He took off the collar and made a pilgrimage to Santiago where he left a bejeweled bracelet, which can still be seen in the cathedral museum. The bridge became known as "El Paso Honroso" (the Honorable Pass).

  5. This is the impressive Gothic bridge over the Río Órbigo that is the site of a legendary medieval jousting competition. Don Suero de Quiñones, a wealthy Leonese knight, was rejected by the woman he loved. In his heartbreak, he locked his neck in an iron collar and swore he would not take it off until he defeated 300 knights in jousting. The call went out, and knights from all over the kingdom came in the Holy Year of 1434. Quiñones succeeded in his quest, freeing him from the torment of love. He took off the collar and made a pilgrimage to Santiago where he left a bejeweled bracelet, which can still be seen in the cathedral museum. The bridge became known as "El Paso Honroso" (the Honorable Pass).

  6. This is a view of the town of Villares de Órbigo over a corn field.

  7. This is a pilgrim monument in Villares de Órbigo.

  8. This is an example of one of many water fountains pilgrims will find along the Camino to Santiago.

  9. Here are two pilgrims on the trail.

  10. I didn't know the significance of this but took the photo. Because of the scallop shell on the head covering one knows it relates to a pilgrim.

  11. I didn't know the significance of this but took the photo. Because of the scallop shell on the head covering one knows it relates to a pilgrim.

  12. Here are three pilgrims on the trail.

  13. This is another image of the trail.

  14. In this image you will see a rest area we affectionately called a Hippie Village. It was a place to rest and eat delicious fruit and snacks. The people running it didn't charge but did accept donations.

  15. This is what we called a Hippie Village. It was a place to rest and eat delicious fruit and snacks. The people running it didn't charge but did accept donations.

  16. This is what we called a Hippie Village. It was a place to rest and eat delicious fruit and snacks. The people running it didn't charge but did accept donations.

  17. This is a pilgrim's first view of Astorga at this beautiful cross on top of the hill.

  18. This is me at the cross with a view of Astorga behind me.

  19. Near the cross in the previous photos was a nice elderly Spaniard who maintained a beautiful garden of flowers for us to enjoy.

  20. Near the cross in the previous photos was a nice elderly Spaniard who maintained a beautiful garden of flowers for us to enjoy.

  21. Here is a view of the trail down the hill from the cross into Astorga.

  22. This is a modern pilgrim statue on the outskirts of Astorga.

  23. This is a small bridge on the outskirts of Astorga.

  24. This is a view of the cathedral in Astorga.

  25. This is another modern pilgrim statue in Astorga that was in front of an albergue.

  26. This is a small church in Astorga.

  27. This is the Museo de los Caminos.

  28. This is another view of the Museo de los Caminos.

  29. This is part of the structure surrounding a garden near the cathedral in Astorga.

  30. This is a view of the cathedral in Astorga

  31. This is another view of the cathedral in Astorga.

  32. This is an entrance into the cathedral in Astorga.

  33. This is an entrance into the cathedral in Astorga.

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