July 17, 2008

Day 72: 24 June- Rabanal to Molinaseca

One thing about mountains... you never quite know what the weather will do. I left Rabanal, after an early breakfast, in clear skies, but had soon climbed into mist. Then the mist seemed to miraculously clear when I arrived in the village of Foncebadon.
Here is the Foncebadon cross.
The mist returned, and when I reached Cruz de Ferro, at about 1500m, I could barely see it in the mist. (I am amazed as the camera obviously got a better view of it than my eyes managed!)I was completely surprised when I looked at this photo back at home and found that there was a woman I knew standing here at the same time as I was.....but I never saw her. Later I heard she had quite a remarkable tale to tell: a young man walking with her had let go of some major guilt as he stood here. He then finished his Camino: he had been healed. There were people who had carried stones from their homes to place here, and many seemed moved by the experience. I had chosen not to bring anything. My friends L&D, who had prepared well for this pilgrimage, had brought along several stones for people at home. But their overall feeling was one of disappointment, as so much garbage seemed to be around the cross. The mist continued, so I never saw much. I have heard though, that some of the best views on the Camino are to be had here!
Tomas's famous 'Templar' refuge was barely visible as I passed by.
The great thing about mist though is that it keeps the place cool. I had decided I wasn't going to push on 'for just another 5km' any more when the midday sun was blazing hot. If it took me one more day to reach Santiago with such a policy, I was fine with that! I had some lunch to eat in Riego de Ambros, and it was still clouded over. I decided to carry on, knowing it was some 6km before Molinaseca, where I expected I might catch up to L&D again.
But the weather gods were laughing at my efforts to avoid the heat! Almost as soon as I had begun the steep rocky descent out of Riego, the mist lifted and the heat began. The track varied. Sometimes there were big slabs of mountain rocks that needed care to negotiate, and in other places the route was easy walking.

Before too long I had views down to Molinaseca, which looked close, but the track wound all around. The town looked like a holiday/party sort of place, and many people were relaxing near the river. I never made it back to the river though: the albergues were both at the far end of the town and I found it too hot to want to venture back that far.....
This is the view of the vegetable gardens in a field just behind the albergue.
And I did catch up to L & D in Molinaseca: we never seemed to manage to remain 'lost' for long!


  1. Margaret,

    I loved climbing the mountain from Rabanal and going down towards Molinaseca. We were lucky, we had good weather and the only spoiler to the day was a guy who exposed himself to us some time after El Acebo. Oh well, I am too old to be shocked by such a pityfull display!


  2. I loved climbing it too Michele... it was such a relief to be in the mountains after all the flatness of the Meseta etc. It was misty this day, but as I struck superb weather over the Pyrenees, and for the climb up to O'Cebreiro, I guess I can't complain!
    I never struck anything like that man fortunately, so my trip memories are not sullied by such as him.