FONCEBADON to MOLINASECA — 12.5 Miles
I had slept 15 hours and was finally ready to get up. My foot still hurt and the stomach problems persisted. It was raining outside, I was still weak and I knew I could not make that 3 mile walk up the mountain to Foncebadon. I never thought I’d do this but I had Dick drive me those 3 miles uphill and then I got out and started walking. The wind was blowing, it was still raining and it was a chilly 40 degrees. Why walk when I felt so awful? Because walking made me feel better. The surroundings were so beautiful and once I got going my foot hardly hurt at all. And the runs? I never needed to go when I was walking because I had skipped dinner the night before and ate no breakfast.
The first thing I came to was Cruz de Ferro, a monument where people leave a stone they’ve brought from home as a token of love and blessing for their journey. It’s a very meaningful place for many pilgrims but I hadn’t brought a rock so I didn’t stop there for long.
I think I was supposed to get on the Camino path from there but there were other trekkers on the road so I continued to follow them instead of taking the path.
I had told Dick I wanted to meet him in The next available place because I knew the farthest I could walk without a break would probably be 3 miles. The road continued downhill, which was quite easy for me. Especially when I spotted the path and it looked like this.
As soon as “Map My Walk” had told me I had walked 3 miles, there was Dick waiting by the side of the road. It felt so good to just get in the car and sit for a few minutes, even though my raincoat was soaking wet. It was a nice break for a few minutes and then I got out and continued on.
I was passing by a funky little village when a French woman came up to me and said, “You see this dog? It has been following me since Foncebadon and I can’t get rid of it!” I didn’t know what to tell her. The dog was big and beautiful and seemed well fed. Then she said, “I told it to go away in Spanish but it won’t listen.” I didn’t know quite what to say so the two of us just started walking and thank goodness the dog followed faithfully behind her — not me.
Even though the rain continued I was in awe of the vast beauty of the countryside.
In another 3 miles I reached the village of Acebo and there was Dick waiting for me. We went into a darling Bar and I ordered tea and a potato tortilla. The place was warm and there was a big fire in the fireplace.
They served the potato tortilla with 3 pieces of bread with tomato rubbed on them and then drizzled with olive oil. It tasted so good. The tortilla was fabulous but I could only eat a few bites of it.
Continuing on, I stayed on the highway most of the time. If I came to an area where the path was, I avoided it and you can see why.
I did have to get back on the path at one point because Dick texted me to meet him at a little village for another break. He said to walk through the village and go to the church at the end.
I never did see the church but the Camino path veered off to the right so I texted him that I was just going to follow the path. Bad idea!
The path was a steep downhill full of mud, rocks, water and thorny bushes. At times my feet went deep into water and at one point I was trying to jump across a stream when I landed in the mud, went slipping and sliding and fell down. I didn’t hurt myself and wanted to burst into tears — but I didn’t. Instead I pushed both hands into the mud, hoisted myself up, wiped the mud off on some grass and continued on.
It wasn’t long before the path reached the highway and I saw Dick. He was waiting for me at a little stand that a man had set up with food and things for Pilgrims. He didn’t charge any money but took donations because he said some pilgrims could not afford to pay and he would give them anything they wanted for free. He looked at the mud on me and said, “Eez not so bad. Thee Camino Eez like life, eet have some good parts and some not so good.”
After a nice break it started to rain again and I walked the rest of the way to Molinaseca. It was a pretty little town by a river and I hoped Dick had gotten us a place with a view.
As I walked into town he was standing at the side of the street talking to another Pilgrim and she looked to be about my age with long curly gray hair. She told us how lucky we were to be able to have private rooms with bathrooms because she always stayed in Albergues in group rooms. And I knew that she was absolutely right. We were extremely lucky and I was lucky to have Camino Concierge guiding me along The Way.
Our hotel is the yellow building. No view because we were on the first floor. But we had the sound of the rushing river outside our window. And our room was as small as yesterday.
Dick borrowed a blow dryer from the hospitalero and I was able to shower and wash my hair. Then there was the task of washing my clothes and especially trying to get the mud out.
I skipped dinner because my stomach was still a little upset and I still had the runs. I stayed in bed while Dick went out and got a Pizza and a couple glasses of wine. Then he and the owner of the Hotel, the sweetest 69 year old man you’d ever want to meet, sat just outside my window talking for hours — in English, of course!
As I laid in bed I thought about this intestinal thing and how I thought it would run (literally) its course and then I’d be well. But that wasn’t happening. I was tired of feeling weak, not wanting to eat, a little nauseated and constantly having the runs. So I made a decision. I opened the window, interrupted Dick in his conversation and said, “I need some help.”
I’ll continue what happened next in tomorrow’s Blog.