Day 25th since leaving St. Jean Pied de Port was to be a rest day in León. With the rain pouring down on day 24, it was nice to be able to enjoy the city. Of course, following the rain was a huge drop in temps. Highs were in the 40s. Since we had experienced temps in the 90s and 100s, this was as shocking as it was welcomed. This meant we could also buy hoodies so we could keep warm. You know, more weight for our ever increasingly heavy pack.
We thoroughly enjoyed León even taking the tourist train to ensure we didn’t miss a thing. Between the day and a half we were there we visited all the museums and major religious sites. We also enjoyed an All-American meal with some of our new Camino family members like Roger from New Hampshire, Mark and Josh from the Netherlands, Rita from Montreal, Gary from the USA and Sadie from Germany. The next day we enjoyed a sit down Spanish lunch with Roger and a great evening of tapas, but then….
Something went terribly wrong. A gastrointestinal issue began late on the 25th day and in the early hours of our 26th day. It took everything out of me. Now I can justifiably sit here and say it forced me to bus forward, but that would be less than genuine. We had already come to the realization we would have to cut down some kilometers if we would finish on time at a realistic pace. We already learned doing more than 20 k a day when hot was too much. Add to it the Galician elevations and we were bound to fail. Our plan to bus from León to Astorga was just timely.
We arrived in Astorga and I dragged myself through the Gaudi designed Castillo and the Catedral. After that, I was cooked. Finally, I took a siesta. I missed out on visiting the chocolate museum or even trying some of the world-famous chocolate. We did eventually join Mark from Netherlands for dinner where of course my dinner consisted of soup. This gave me an opportunity to see a little more of Astorga, but I will definitely have to return when I feel better.
Day 27 had us on our way to Foncebadon. It would have been our final 25.9k. Unfortunately, between our late start and how slow I was trekking since I still didn’t feel well, we ended up stopping at Rabanal Del Camino. It was meant to be.
The Albuergue Santa Maria Del Pilar has a great and friendly family running it. We had a Celtic band playing everything from classical, American Country to ‘Viva España’. We also got to experience a Gregorian sung mass. The Camino sure does provide.
I feel better now and we head out to Cruz de Ferro in the morning with an extra 5k to carry, but no backpacks as we are shipping them forward for the first time. Feeling a little guilty about it, but Roger from New Hampshire suggested it. He’s done it before, I’m sure it’s good advice.