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One Adventure After Another!

Monday, December 07, 2015

To Molinaseca

2009 - Autumn

Joe in Foncebaddon at a Pazo
This pazo has emblems of the zodiac all around,
and that grabbed Joe's attention,
as he is a student of astrology.

Joe at Monjarin
We stayed at Monjarin in 2009.
After participating in a blessing of the pilgrims by Tomas,
we decided to sleep here.

There was no running water and no electricity
and we loved it!
During our family style dinner,
a young man showed up,
barefoot and dirty.
When we would not speak,
there was a concerned hush among those of us at dinner.
We didn't understand.
Tomas immediately recognized him as a pilgrim,
who had taken a vow of silence.
Tomas gently took his pack,
and gave him a seat at the table.

Altar at Monjarin
We slept in the attic,
on well-worn mattresses of questionable cleanliness.
We didn't care.
The hospitality calmed any concerns we might have had.

Joe woke up in the middle of the night
to a light as bright as day.
It was a full moon,
lighting up the attic through a skylight over his bed.

The rule was that nobody could come down from the attic
until the music played.
One of our roommates challenged the rule
and was shoo'd up before he got halfway down the stairs.

Where we slept
Next morning,
we were fed a nice big breakfast,
and sent on our way.

Annie and Tomas the Templar

Walking from Acebo to Molinaseca
On the way down from Acebo to Molinaseca,
it was over 90 degrees F;
we ran into the barefoot boy,
soaking his hot blistered feet in a mud puddle.

In Molinaseca,
I found bedbugs in the albergue,
and so we gratefully took a bunk outside on the porch.

We slept outside at Molinaseca
Here is where pilgrims wash their clothes in cold water
2012 - Autumn
Joe with Marcos, the barkeep at Foncebadon
It was a cold, wet, blustery walk
The trail down to Acebo
The rainbows helped life spirits
Lunch at Acebo
Acebo is a great place to stop for lunch.
Grab a bocadillo and a cold drink
and watch the exhausted pilgrims go by
on their race for a bed.

Everyone seems happy to have made it to Molinaseca

I always have to pay special attention to where we bed down each night.
I cannot tolerate fragrances, 
and cleaning chemicals,
and so I always email ahead and ask the manager to please not use
fragranced products in my room.
Over the years, I've learned which places are safe for me
There have been times when I have had to sleep outdoors
in my tent.
I always ask my pilgrims to please not use or bring 
fragranced products with them, as well.
This way, I can enjoy time with the group.

April and an Italian pilgrim who also stayed at the Casa Reloj
The next morning,
we had a cook-it-yourself breakfast
provide by our Casa Rural.

Fresh farm eggs are provide by our host.


The mountains were so pretty this year!

See the beetle?

Nice track

2014 - Spring/Summer

Looking out my bedroom window - daytime - I caught a stork on a nearby roof

Looking out my bedroom window - nighttime - I caught a shooting star!

Our pilgrims enjoying breakfast
On our way out of town,
we passed the municipal albergue where we stayed in 2009.
There was this Japanese artist,
caring a beautiful Buddha
in the bark of a tree there.
I hope it doesn't hurt the tree,
but it sure was pretty!

2015 - Autumn

We left Rabanal right at daybreak.
The sky was sunny and blue and walking was good.
At Cruz de Ferro, 
we stopped to leave our rocks 
and to soak up the atmosphere.

Peregrinas at Cruz de Ferro

Continuing on to Manjarin,
we noticed an official looking car
traveling on the roads adjacent to the Camino.
Then, as we walked on the trail above the Valley of Silence,
and came into Manjarin,
we saw the same official vehicle.
Inside Tomas' hut, we found the man in the orange uniform,
who we learned was a forest ranger patrolling the area
for the safety of the pilgrims,
another version of a modern-day Templar!

The man in orange is a forest ranger.
As we continued on our way to Acebo and Molinaseca,
we saw many times either the forest ranger's vehicle,
Guardia Civil, or local police
patrolling because of the missing pilgrim, Denise Thiem.
It made us feel safe.

Leaving Foncebadón, the heather was in bloom and beautiful.

Even when taking extra care, 
the descent into El Acebo can be tricky,
as we saw one pilgrim who took a tumble on the loose rocks.
Later the pilgrim was heard to say,
"Two sticks are definitely better than one!"

Walking from Riego de Ambros to Molinaseca
is one of the most beautiful wild stretches
along the Camino.
A beautiful hike!
When you come off the trail and access the highway,
it's a short stroll to the river,
which is often filled with swimmers and sunbathers.
A welcome sight to see for a sweaty, dirty wanderer!

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