Lots of catching up to do.
Dale and I left Astorga before sunrise and walked part way with some firemen from Atlanta Georgia that we met the night before. One was born in Mississippi near where I have relatives. Hard to see the arrows and way markers in the dark – even with our headlamps. Soon we came to a wonderful little cafe and had breakfast. Coffee con leche and a big croissant for me. Just as we were about to leave, Sue from Australia came in. Had been hoping to meet up with her. She decided to walk with us for the day. We were excited to have her company. She walks much faster than us but slowed her pace to walk with us. Dale walked on ahead the last few minutes and checked us in at the same place Sue, her husbandand Jessie were staying. We walked nearly 13 miles to Rabanal and stayed at Gaucelmo. It was a donation place and had afternoon tea in the garden. Very good place. Sue had invited us to go to dinner with them but Dale decided to have a cheeseburger with Kat whom had caught up. I went for drinks with Sue and as we were about to go to dinner, Dale joined us. The next day i decided to send my pack ahead. $7 and they deliver it where you want. Only issue is you have to make it to that place to pick up your pack. We passed Cruz de Ferro the next day. Had a little ceremony and placed my families rocks on the pile. My rock was a piece of pink quartz. One daughter had her name and my grandchildren’s names plus a number 12 for The Seahawks 12th man. The other daughters rock had her familiy’s names and googlie eyes on the other side. All three rocks are together along with thousands of others. Today we passed by the truly highest point on the Camino at 1532 meters. As we were arriving in El Acebo we ran into Jessie from Australia. The three minute conversation caused us not to get a room at the place we wanted! Completo!As it turned out we ended up with a private room at a Casa Rural. Can’t find the name of it right now but it is right on the corner just before Meson El Acebo and to the back. It was reasonable an included washing our clothes and breakfast. Wonderful place. Went almost 12 miles that day. Next day we wanted to hurry and get to Ponferrada to see the Templar Castle. As we were passing thru a small village we heard “Dale! Lynda!”. As we turned around we found that it was Gil from Israel that we had met in Bayonne before starting the Camino. We stopped for a chat and found that h had had bed bugs and on another occasion a stomach issue. His girlfriend had gone back home but was returning in about a week and o the last 100 kilometers with him. It will be great to see Juliette. Much of the morning was downhill but since it was Sunday, the Castle was closing at two and not reopening until Tuesday. We decided to take a taxi and be able to go in the castle. Again the outside was better than the inside not much left. Stopped for a beer and ran into the guy Dale talked to while I climbed to the castle a couple weeks ago. He has almost crippling foot issues. Checked into the albergue and found that Gil and two friends are our bunkmates. Had dinner with them. The next morning we decided to take a short bus trip of 16 kilometers to Cacabelos and then walk from there. We walked a short 7.7 kilometers and were unable to get into the place we wanted and stayed at the Ave Fenix. The dinner was good but the next morning the lady next to Dale’s bunk was shaking bed bugs out of her sheet!!! Before dinner we walked into the square and ran into Gil again. We are going to meet up with them in Sarria. Left early the next morning and walked about 12 miles to Herrerias. Stopped on the way and had a shopkeeper call ahead for reservations. We stayed at Casa Polin for 36 euros. It was a wonderful place. They did our laundry for us and prepared a great dinner. As we were walking into town again we heard “Dale! Lynda!”. Gil again. They came up and had dinner with us at our place. The albergue they were staying in is run by a guy from Chicago. Next day’s walk was hard. Up to O Cebreiro. Only 8.2 kilometers this day. The view from here is breathtaking. The mountains and valleys are gorgeous. It was very windy and getting cold. We checked into the albergue. We were number 89 & 90 out of 104 spots. Barely made it. Seems like a tourist town. Shop owners were nt caring. They did not wait on people in a timely manner. One lady told us if we wanted food go to a different bar as she wasn’t serving food. Today we only walked 11.3 kilometers. Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill. We are staying in a private room again. We are in Fonfria and the room was only 26 euro. It is getting chilly. Hopefully it’ll warm back up tomorrow. We are having a wonderful time. Less walking would be good but that’s how you get from one place to the next. Today leaving O Cebreiro we passed a lady that walks slower than us. First person we have passed. Looking forward to Sarria and Santiago. It is awesome to get to the top of a hill/mountain and turn around and see where you have just hiked. The views are spectacular. Generally one cannot go 50 feet without running into a pilgrim. Going to get busier as we approach Sarria and the last 100 kilometers. We have met people from Australia, Poland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Korea, South Africa, Iceland, Canada, the US, Mexico, Japan, China, Austria, Ireland, Scotland and everywhere in between.