Distance today: 41.4km
Total Distance remaining: 260.5km
After a lovely stay in astorga, sampling some of the wares at the chocolate museum, and having someone else do our laundry for us (the simple things in life), it was time to hit the road again.
the walk out of astorga was unimpressive, cutting through the suburbs and the lowlands, but the promise of the mountains was in front of us. we powered over the flats and were soon at our first hill.
our expectations from reading our guide suggested that today was very steep and hard going, and was therefore recommended to be only 21.4km. this turned out to be very decieving. we arrived at our supposed stopping point by 11am, had a very early lunch, and motored on.
a few k´s later, we started hitting our real challenges, and passed the highest peak of the entire camino (1505m), marked by an iron cross. now we were back into the real scenery we know and love. snow capped mountains all around, deep valleys, rough roads. perfect.
unfortunately for us, the gap between our supposed stop and the next town with accommodation was still 10km away. as always, the last few hours are the hardest, and teh blisters really had a voice today. but, to lighten our hearts, we passed through a little one man town, manjarin, seriously the population is 1. a ex pilgrim decided to renovate a delapidated shack in a crumbled mountain town, and so for 15 years he has been living there providing refuge for the desparate (or more adventurous than us). He had the run of the village so he decided to rennovate a house accross the road to be his outside and only toilet! luckily, i didnt need to go.
we started to come down out of the mountains and soon enough found civilization again, where we are now. the refugio here is great. its a great little village on the mountain side.
tomorrow we have the option of a relatively easy day, or another monster trek. i wonder which one we will choose. stay tuned to find out!