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Day 22: Hiking My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

August 10, 2018


I thought I would include a selfie as part of today’s post. Do I look thinner than normal? But seriously, this was part of the trail with my shadow leaving Astorga just after the sunrise.

Today (Day 22) I walked 16.81 miles from Astorga to Foncebadon. Most of the walk had a gradual incline but it was slightly steeper the last three miles. However, it was not nearly as steep as a couple of the past days. My Garmin watch says we had an elevation gain of 1,955 feet.


The mornings are also cooler and have been for the past couple of days. And I expect it will be even cooler tomorrow morning at this elevation.


I walked most of the day alone but connected with others I have gotten to know during breakfast or during parts of the walk. I ran into Tonnie later in Foncebadon where we had dinner together and took a little walk at the sunset. But I will talk about that tomorrow since our little walk is technically part of tomorrow’s walk.


I still feel great. However, most of us who started at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port are already feeling anxiety due to the fact we know the end is near and we will miss the Camino de Santiago. Those are things I will continue to reflect upon as my journey continues.


Thanks for following my progress!


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See additional photos from August 10th below:

Brief descriptions of the photos:

  1. This is a mosaic on a church that I saw on my way out of Astorga. You will note "Camino" is spelled forwards and backwards.

  2. At first glance this appeared to be a small church on the outskirts of the town of Valdeviejas. I think food may have been available here but I kept walking. It was too early to stop.

  3. This is an image of the trail after one hour of walking.It is outside the village of Murias de Rechivaldo.

  4. This is my shadow selfie during sunrise. I am outside the village of Murias de Rechivaldo.

  5. This is the trail approaching the village of Santa Catalina de Somoza.

  6. This is the trail about four hours outside of Astorga.

  7. This is a marker and arrow with abandoned shoes next to the trail. Although it looks like #PilgrimOasisFog is painted on the side of the sole. I am not sure if that is advertising a cafe, albergue, or something else.

  8. This is a view of the trail that has seen some erosion from water.

  9. There have been sections of the trail with a fence next to it. If you look closely you will see wooden crosses woven into the fence. I am sure if I had counted every cross on any fence like this on the Camino, I would have counted thousands.

  10. This is a view of the village of Rabanal del Camino from the outskirts of town.

  11. This is the church in the village of Rabanal del Camino.

  12. This is the trail outside of the village of Rabanal del Camino.

  13. This is a view of a pilgrim on the trail.

  14. This is a view of a marker and shelter along the trail.

  15. This is a view of the Camino looking back from where I came.

  16. This is a view from the trail to my left as I was approaching the village of Foncebadón.

  17. This is a view of the village of Foncebadón.

  18. This is a cross in the middle of a street in the village of Foncebadón.

  19. After washing my clothes and having dinner I walked to Cruz de Ferro (some say Cruz Ferro but I suggest that you google it). It occupies nearly the highest point of the entire Camino Francés. This is said to be an ancient monument, first erected by the ancient Celts, then dedicated by the Romans to their god Mercury (protector of travelers) and later crowned by the cross and renamed a Christian site by the 9th-century hermit Guacelmo. For centuries, pilgrims have brought a stone to the place (either from home or the flatlands below) to represent their burden. The stone and the burden are left here, leaving the pilgrim lighter (literally and figuratively) for the journey ahead. Today all sorts of symbolic items are left behind, and some stones bear written messages.

  20. This is a small chapel near the iron cross at Cruz de Ferro.

  21. After washing my clothes and having dinner I walked to Cruz de Ferro (some say Cruz Ferro but I suggest that you google it). It occupies nearly the highest point of the entire Camino Francés. This is said to be an ancient monument, first erected by the ancient Celts, then dedicated by the Romans to their god Mercury (protector of travelers) and later crowned by the cross and renamed a Christian site by the 9th-century hermit Guacelmo. For centuries, pilgrims have brought a stone to the place (either from home or the flatlands below) to represent their burden. The stone and the burden are left here, leaving the pilgrim lighter (literally and figuratively) for the journey ahead. Today all sorts of symbolic items are left behind, and some stones bear written messages. You can see the small chapel to the left.

  22. This is me kneeling at the iron cross at Cruz de Ferro. I am also leaving a stone I carried from the United States. I also left a "Challenge Coin. Read the next three photos for more information.

  23. The white painted rock is the rock I carried from the United States and left at Cruz de Ferro. Check out the next photo for more information about that rock.

  24. This is a photo of three sides of the rock I left at Cruz de Ferro. Before I left home I thought about a rock and burden. Truthfully, I didn’t feel like there was a burden to leave behind. When you already feel blessed and fortunate I couldn’t think of a burden. Well, the week before I left the United States I found the rock you see in this image. It was at a shopping center near near my home and was next to the curb where I parked that day. I picked it up, read it, and began to think about where I would re-hide it in Virginia or Maryland. But the rock brought a smile to my face. I then considered bringing it to Spain to leave at Cruz de Ferro but initially felt guilty for considering it because the rock did not represent a burden. However, the more I thought about it the more I became convinced it should be left at Cruz de Ferro for two reasons. First, it came into my possession one week before I left. Second, it represents my positive, grateful spirit and maybe it is leaving a little bit of me behind. So I decided this was the rock I was destined to leave.

  25. This is the Bernhardt Wealth Management Challenge Coin that I also left at Cruz de Ferro in memory of my mother.

  26. As I was walking back from Cruz de Ferro to Foncebadón this was a view from the trail to my right.

  27. This is the ruins of some building on the outskirts of Foncebadón.

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