Day 38 – Santa Catalina to Rabanal del Camino

Walked today: 6.8 miles

Walked Camino 2019: 277.4 miles

Today we began our walk into the Irago Mountains. The way was flat, dirt for the first couple of miles into

El Ganso, “ goose” in Spanish, on the right

El Ganso, where we planned to have breakfast. At first we were frustrated, because the albergues where we previously had breakfast were locked up tight. And then a mild panic set in as we had at least another 4 mile walk ahead of us without food or restrooms.

We circled around to the only other street in town and alas, a relatively new (4 years) tienda (store) had the “abierto” sign on the gate. There were three small round tables on the terrace, suggesting food and rest room possibilities, but, no one was around and we were about to give up when a gentleman walked out of one of the shop doors. Linda quickly said, “desayuno”?, “cafe con leche”?, “aseos?”, which all got the affirmative “si” from our new friend and savior, so we took a seat, breathed a sigh of relief and ordered our usual.

Foncebadon (tomorrow) high on left, Rabanal seen above road sign

The next 3 miles took us further, but, gradually into the Irago Mountains, with the final 1.5 miles becoming much steeper and we finally walked into Rabanal del Camino (pop.73).

Rabanal del Camino is another beautiful and isolated Maragato village brought back to life by modern pilgrim traffic. This was the end of the 9th stage of the Codex Calixtinus, and many pilgrims stopped to rest from the ascent and find refuge from the wolves and bandits that plagued the León mountains. The Knights Templar ran a fort here to protect passing pilgrims. A legend says that one of Charlemagne’s knights married a Muslim woman in Rabanal.

Iglesia de Santa María de la Asunción
Interior of Iglesia Santa María, currently operated bythe Benedictine Abbey of San Salvador del Monte Irago
Hostal El Tesin (50€)

El Tesin has a warm feeling to it, the owner/manager is very customer oriented and

Cantina El Tesin

unlike most every other establishment of any size in Spain, her kitchen was open from 7am to 9 pm every day!!!

We had the pilgrim menu for lunch which had the usual offerings, was tasty and 11€.

Our clothes were machine washed for us (3€) and we hung them out to dry, which took about 45 minutes in the mid-afternoon sun.

We’re had pasta dinners for supper at 6:00!!

Gary, from Austin, Texas joined us at our table and we shared Camino experiences. It’s his first Camino and he is walking 20-25 miles a day.

We retired early as we walk over and then down the Irago Mountains tomorrow.

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