- Distance today: 5.2 mi
- Distance Camino 2017: 334.8 mi
What a wonderful day on the Camino!
At 7:40 it was light enough to walk without headlamps and long sleeves/long pants were very comfortable at 48F with no wind. The rising sun had the beautifully, clear blue sky all to itself.
Sidewalks through Astorga and the adjacent village of Valdeviejas, then a path alongside a lightly travel secondary road got us to Murias de Rechivaldo. It was a really attractive village with a wide bricked walkway that led us to a strategically placed bar that was perfect for breakfast.
The next 3 miles were on a narrow, mostly straight dirt path surrounded by bushes and small trees, that gradually climbed 300+ feet in elevation before taking us into the village of Santa Catalina de Somoza (pop.60).
Our albergue, El Caminante (40€) is a real diamond in the rough in what some Camino guides call a ghost town. We really love this place.
Our habitacion doble con bano is immaculate, adequately spacious and on the second floor, overlooking a closed courtyard surrounded by dormitory rooms housing bunkbeds (litera) at 5€ each.
It has a separate area for washing clothes by hand or machine(3€) and hanging them out to dry with plenty of line and clothespins. Kinda like we died and went to heaven. (Thanks, Camino)
The bar/restaurant/albergue is beautifully decorated, the staff is very friendly, professional and service oriented. An abnormally wide range of tasty foods are available all day and the prices are very competitive.
Jim spent much of the afternoon sitting under an umbrella outside the albergue on “Calle Real”, working on the blog, greeting passing pilgrims, sipping a “cervesa grande” and occasionally coaxing an undecided pilgrim (be they German, Italian, Spanish. Australian, etc) to either stay for a meal or overnight.
Linda spent her afternoon exploring the small village, trying unsuccessfully to keep Jim out of mischief and stealing a few winks in our quiet, cool room.
At about 6:30, we took a nice walk around the village and viewed some of the great scenery around USC as we are on our way up to Foncebadón and nearby Cruz de Ferro, the highest point on the Camino. Our appetite built, we then returned to our albergue dining room and had a nice dinner including a bottle of the local wine, a fitting finish for another day on the Camino Frances.