Today would be a slow climbing day – shown as only 100m vertical on the map above but 250m according to Brierley. It was uphill – 24 km to Rabanal. But first we walked through historic Astorga.
The Romans built the first settlement called Asturica Augusta here in 14 B.C.. During the middle ages it became an important way station for pilgrims on the Camino. By the 15th century its growing significance inspired the rebuilding of the Catedral de Santa Maria de Astorga pictured above, as well as its 3rd century town walls. We enjoyed passing through and wished we had more time to sightsee.
It was slow steady walking all day. We stopped every hour and chatted with a few people. It was sunny, quiet and peaceful. Marie’s feet were healing.
When we got to Rabanal about 2:30 PM we decided to upgrade and checked into La Posada de Gaspar, a guesthouse with private room, bar and restaurant. We had our first bath tub and the maid did our laundry! We hung our sleeping bags out to air. Wow, a lovely restful evening followed.
We had a nice dinner and then had time to look around Rabanal. Rabanal has a long history as an important stop on the Camino and prominent town in Leon. It was revitalized with the help of the Confraternity of St. James in London, a Camino pilgrim support organization. We have several of their excellent publications and accessories.
We much enjoyed our stay there and so were as ready as we could be for more climbing the next day.