May 25-26: Rabanal and Molinaseca

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Templar Church at Rabanal | Photo by Tom Jachym

We left a little later yesterday morning as a result of both staying up to watch the Champions League Final, and indulging in the breakfast that the hostel provided. Once on the outskirts of Astorga we came in full view of the snow covered peak to the southwest the we would journey towards for remainder of the day. The weather was a little chilly but perfect conditions for walking and the countryside was magnificent. Rolling hills of shrubby trees and yellow and purple wildflowers flowed to the base of the mountains towering in the distance. We passed through a few small towns, notably El Ganso and Santa Catalina where many of us would stop for a coffee or lunch. We stayed in Rabanal which is a beautiful small town with Roman origins. The most notable aspect of the town is the church which was first constructed by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. Amy and I caught the last mass of the day at 12:30 and then we all went to the vespers later in the evening. Today we are staying in Molinaseca. Along the way we stopped at the Cruz de Ferro where we all tossed a stone at the base of the cross as a representation of a sin which we are asking forgiveness for, a burden we are leaving behind, or anything else we may want. The walk was long and the intense downhill walk was treacherous and hard on the knees but for the most part spirits are high even if we are a little weak. Molinaseca is a beautiful resort town and everyone is ready for our shortest walk of the trip tomorrow. Though there is pain, it is now mostly only pains that we expect and that makes them more tolerable.

-Tom

 

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