Beautiful 32K walk today from Villar de Nazarife on the quiet alternative trail to Astorga. Rising earlier and earlier on these 40K+ walks of the past two days I left today at 4:45. A full 1 1/2 hour of star gazing following the Milky Way west. It was just starting to get light as I reconnected with The Camino in Hospital de Orbigo and came to the bridge where Don Suero de Quinones defended the bridge in 30 days of jousting in the year 1434 taking on all comers across Europe and as far away as Germany.
I met two young girls walking together on the bridge and taking a picture of each other as I crossed the bridge and offered to take a picture of the two of them which they readily accepted. Anna from Italy and Marketa from Poland telling them the story of Don Quinones and how he inspired Cervantes to write Don Quixote.
Continued on to Santibanez de Valdeiglesias where I ran into an old Camino buddy, Jessica, mentioned in a previous post. She is now partnered up with Greta from Denmark. I followed them up the hills on the 12K remaining walk to Astorga.
At 6 kilometers away from Astorga we came to a small homestead where a sweet young woman, Susie, was offering organic foods including fruits and juices to peregrinos for a donation. And to my joy they had the same Organic peanut butter as last year. In 2015 her partner was there and he kept saying “the Camino will provide”. This was much more low key and I enjoyed her calmness and the quieter moments. One peregrino asked about Sjogren’s as I am always in my Sjogren’s Syndrome shirt. I thanked her for asking and started in on my explanation but then Susie joined the conversation and obviously knew a great deal about it. She explained her mother has it as mine did. However, Susie’s mom, Gaye, also has rheumatoid arthritis. We conversed for 10 minutes or so with several peregrinos involved as well. A nice opportunity to create awareness.
Bidding goodbye to Susie I continued on to Astorga. On one hand sad that my long walking days are distancing me from Camino buddies but joyful as you never know when you will meet a new Camino pal.
You can find out more about my walk for Sjogren’s Sydrome at:https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/kevin-considine/tsa