Day 28 – Santa Catalina to Acebo

Posted from Molinaseca, Castile and León, Spain.

Today I had a rare wildlife sighting. A lizard with a red line down its back. As I lined up the photo I was hoping it wasn’t a leaping poisonous lizard.

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I walked longer than usual today and stopped along the way for lunch. Potatoes chips, nut and a granola bar. Pilgrims can’t be choosy.

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As the path climbed higher the clouds settled and a fine mist hovered over the trail.

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All along the camino you see stones stacked on the way posts, monuments, sometimes just on the ground like cairns. I believe that people place the stones to represent and remember people, reasons for walking, prayers etc. it’s always nice to see them. La Cruz de Ferro is kind of the culmination of all those stacked stones. Cruz de Ferro means iron cross. It is a small cross on the top of a very large post. It is surrounded by the stones that people have left behind.

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I knew this time was coming before I left for the camino. On the day I left I went to mother’s and selected a stone from her garden by her bedroom. I went dad’s and selected a stone from the side of his house. I’ve been carting them along for 1 month across Spain. Today the route climbed into the mountains. Cruz de Ferro is the highest point in my camino. The mist was hanging low on the ground. When I got to the cross I was alone. I took off my pack and dug out my two stones. I held them in my hand and thought about mother and dad.

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I thought about how they had guided me along the way for 50+ years so that I had this amazing opportunity to journey along the camino. I set the stones representing mother and dad down amongst all of the other.

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I moved them out into the collection of stones. Now a part of the my memories of mother and dad are located along this camino. They will be here forever.

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I continued on my way. The mist started to rise and I saw wonderful green mountain views.

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After climbing for several hours the path started down. I could see a village in the distance, my destination. A cute little mountain village.

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I selected a nice little albergue with a very local feeling bar.

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I snagged a prime bed. I’ll sleep well until the rustlers begin.

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I had the pilgrims dinner tonight. I’d say better than most a great soup of potatoes, garlic, spinach. A sautéed white fish with fries and a a great vanilla cream pudding (and of course wine and bread). I ate with a mother daughter couple from British Columbia. The mother was a hoot. Drinking, laughing telling stories. The daughter was more subdued but still good at setting her mother up for punch lines. Pretty funny.