June 6, 2015
Today was a day of pleasant surprises. I left the little hamlet of Villadangos early this morning. There was little traffic as the day for most had not started yet. The sounds of the morning in the cool air were delightful. The normal bird chirping was enhanced with the occasional roaster crow and even coe coe birds. There are irrigation channels everywhere so the babbling of the water added to the morning sounds. Of course with water, there are frogs so they chimmed in as well. I even came across a snail – no sounds from it – making progress just a little slower than me.
As the sun cleared the trees I was able to shed a long sleave shirt and the sounds of the smaller creatures was replaced by the sounds and smells and even the hazards on the footpath of larger creatures like cows and sheep.
The path was gentle and at about 10:00 decended into the beautiful town of Hospital de Orbigo. I crossed a bridge that was built on top of a Roman one and was so fortunate that I entered the town as it is about to open it’s weekend jousting festival. The tents and stands are all set up for the games to begin. Street vendors were opening their stands and I think I may have gotten the very first piece of almond cake served.
I left Hospital de Orbigo through a couple other small villages with many pilgrims. In one of the villages, a man posed for me in front of his flowers.
The crowds thined as I made my way up an isolated hill climb for a half mile or so only to be surprised again at the top by a man that runs a free cantina along the Camino. He lives in a little hut and gives away fresh fruit to all the pilgrims. He is all smiles and just so happy to see all the pilgrims.
From the top of a hill punctuated with a cross, I got my first glimpse of Astorga, my destination for the day. Astorga has a vibrant main square with a church, no surprise there, that has a bell which is rung by two figures swinging hammers. Astorga is also home of a beautiful Gaudi museum to pilgrims. The church next to it has a pilgrim on top of one of the spires.
So today was indeed a day full of pleasant surprises. Some days are just like that!