Astorga – Cacabelos 73kms 650m
Despite the drums and the parading of various religious icons which went on late into the night, your two heathens took to their beds at a sensible hour and slept. In view of today’s experience it was a jolly good thing!
As we expected of our four star hotel, breakfast was a real treat. Sadly, I could only manage juice, cereal, yoghurt, toast, cheese and coffee. Al did a little better by adding cold meats to his plate. There was even scrambled egg and sausages but the prospect of a nasty bout of indigestion discouraged us from consuming them.
So an excellent start. However, the town had not finished its celebrations and we were obliged to walk the walk between crowd and preparations for yet another ceremony. There were two big stages, much media attention and two cyclists strutting their stuff. So, we could be on Spanish tele! Hopefully not.
The nicest thing about today was the fact that we were well away from the main routes and so encountered very little traffic, although what there was, took no prisoners. It is astounding that along a narrow road, inhabited by numerous walking pelicans and the odd bike, and despite the speed limit of around 40 kilometres/hour, many /most drivers paid scant regard to anything other than jamming their respective feet on the accelerator.
(my dandelion theory has been blown out of the water; nearly every other yellow plant was mmm… yes, a dandelion.)
I think I am allowed the luxury of commenting on the physical effort required today in view of the fact that we are so tired we can hardly speak. It was knackering! We still have at least one more ride of similar difficulty but I think I might try and convince Hercules that his midget of a wife is feeling all of her 67 years and might need a shorter day. (That was one of our hardest days but we still kept pace with a few 25 yr olds – well done Mary – promise it will be shorter tomorrow – Ed.) Having said all that, the countryside has been fabulous and we were able to admire it during the intervals when, on the descent we had to stop periodically to allow the brakes to cook down!
|Stones carried by pilgrims from their home|
We have now ditched all pretence at searching out a cheap night and homed in on an hotel. But…… it is Easter and all the Spanish, it seems, have abandoned their perfectly adequate homes and filled the hotels. So, the hotel was full! Nonetheless, there are always lovely people wanting to help and one such, seeing our dilemma, led us to a second hotel and left us with instructions as to how to locate the alberque. We purloined the last room in the hotel and are now in recovery.