camino de santiago

Looking Back – Camino Frances 2012 #3

Day three. Rabanal del Camino.

Another early morning. I grabbed my things and headed out in the direction of the Leon hills. The sun was yet to rise but the forecast said that the day had great potential. I happened to leave at the same time as Sabine, a German girl, who was alone. We tagged along for a bit as we were walking at the same pace. Our first challenge was the ascent to Foncebadon. We managed that in just over an hour. My love for ascents hasn’t changed through the years. On arriving at Foncebadon, I was surprised at how derelict the town was. It was crumbling, apart from a few hostels. There couldn’t be people living here. We stopped off at the nearest refugio for breakfast.After a half hour, we moved on. Next stop was the Cruz de Ferro. I wasn’t sure what to expect on reaching this landmark. There was so much written about it that maybe I was letting the occasion get to me. I had my stone and I was going to spend a little time here. The sky was blue. It was a perfect day. We arrived at the Cruz but I was surprised at how many people were there. Many were taking pictures and reading messages left by the Cruz. I dropped my stone and moved on. Sabine stuck around for a little bit longer. Her basic English was enough for us to communicate, as I had zero German. She could had walked ahead if she wanted to, so it meant something to me for her to stay.

That phrase “What goes up, must come down!” couldn’t be more true for this day. Walking from the Cruz, the highest point on the Camino Frances, down to our stay for the night, Molinaseca, was tough. The views were stunning but it took me great patience to determine where to put each foot as I was walking. The ground was made of loose rock and shale and I was lucky that it wasn’t raining.…I wasn’t complaining! There was a lot of stopping, a few cerverzas were had and on reaching Molinaseca at the base of the mountain, I took off my shoes and rested. The albergue had an amazing communal meal. We talked about the next day and where we would walk to, but I was quite happy being where I was.

More from the throwback series can be found here.

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3 replies »

  1. You said “On arriving at Foncebadon, I was surprised at how derelict the town was.” That is true, but I am a bit fascinated – I see a frontier mentality, and imagine myself at base camp on Everest!


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