October 4, 2002

10/4/02 Astorga

32 km

Poor Andreia. Twice last night she could be heard vomiting down in the courtyard. Michelle ended up staying with her in the early morning. I went to relieve him but he said he had had the best sleep of his whole Camino and didn't mind staying up with her.

Planted forests are 'soooooo' perfect

With such a small group, there wasn't the usual noise of everyone packing in the dark and rushing to leave. Christopher, Josué and I finished off the last of last nights spaghetti - Mmm good. We were making contingency plans to help Andreia when, Jesus, the hospitalero and mayor of Villar de Mazarifé, came by. He offered to give her a ride to a town where she could get a bus to Astorga. With that concern lifted from us, we finally left the refugio about 9:30am, probably my latest start for the entire pilgrimage.

Max [Germany]

The first half of the day was straight roads that ran between fields of eight-foot high corn. A few clouds, but not a bad morning. For a while, I walked with Josué and Max, and then we caught up with Larissa.

Three Pilgrims

As we crossed on of the oldest bridges in Spain coming into Hospital de Orbigo, you could see a jousting area along the riverbank. This was the site of one of the last large tournaments of the Middle Ages.

In 1433 knight Suero de Quiñones
challenged all comers

After Hospital, the land began to change. We are finally walking over rolling hills as we get closer to the mountains on the horizon. Josué is getting excited because we are very close to Galicia, where his family is from. And it's also the province where Santiago de Compostela is located. Less than 300-km to go.

Nearing Astorga

Overlooking the city

Josué and I talked the whole way to Astorga. Like me, he loves Science Fiction. But we also talked about religion, philosophy and psychology. Once in the city, we walked along the massive walls all the way to the refugio. A bit footsore and weary, but I'm glad to be with friends.

Kids picking grapes on a 'field' trip

Andreia is here and she said the doctors told her she had a form of food poisoning. She slept most of the day and will stick to bottled water and soup for a while. She looks a lot better. I gave her another one of my famous massages so she's at least falling in love with my hands.

We had arrived too late to visit the cathedral, so I spent what little time I had getting cleaned up and catching up on my journal. I also washed some clothes. In almost every refugio there is a sink with a built-in washboard. And clothes dryers are very rare in Spain, so everyone has clotheslines outside windows to hang the clothes. In winter, they hang inside.

Antonio cooked dinner for us all tonight. Andreia is feeling a little better but Josué is complaining a little bit about his stomach now.