This was one the toughest walking days so far! Started from Rabanal under cloudy skies but the weather deteriorated getting foggy, rainy and cold as I climbed to the “alto” at over 1,500 meters.
At the first peak, I found the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) in a thick fog bank. The cross stands on a large pile of stones left by pilgrims past each one representing a blessing, prayer, or remembrance for lost loved one.
Beyond this point there was one more peak before navigating a steep descent over 6 miles down to the pleasant village of Molinaseca. Met Dennis from Atlanta on the way down. He is a fellow about my age who had an interesting career that included nursing and bioterrorism consulting! He mentioned that he had been offered a gig to play Santa for the month of December (he could pass for St. Nick), but he is really a dead ringer for Jerry Garcia. 🙂
Once at the bottom, the air cleared and warmed up. I ran into Rosemarie – our paths have been crossing since Day 12 in San Juan – and we walked together to Ponferrada which made those last tough miles go quickly.
All told my Fitbit recorded over 24 miles with lots of up and down. BY day’s end, I only had the energy to walk across the street for dinner. That turned out to be a fortunate move; I was pleasantly surprised with an incredible dinner including some of the region’s botillo sausage and Bierzo white wine!