Cruising to Cruz Ferro

Camino: Day 19 – Sunday April 26, 2009 
Astorga to El Acebo (Walk – 38km)
Today was close to being a perfect day. The predicted rain did not arrive and it was glorious sunshing day for the walk back into the mountains which I have been looking forward to. On leaving Astorga I was trying to guess which ridge I will be walking over, they all looked daunting. The trail passed through the summit of Monte Irago (1500m) and on top of the mountain is an iron cross (Cruz Ferro) standing on top of a mound of stones which are symbolic of the weight of sin which the pilgrims cast out upon reaching the cross.
Each village passed after Astorga was picture perfect, walking through broom lined path between villages.It is difficult to capture the feeling I had of the ease of ascending over 900m to reach Cruz Ferro from Astorga. I felt light and almost like I was gliding over the landscape. I felt like I could have walked on forever. The trees were coming back to life after the winter cold and spring flowers coloured the mountain side. El Acebo was another 9km walking from Cruz Ferro. Arrived at the Alburgue at El Acebo and was the last person accepted as it was full – what luck. The hosts at this Albergue cooked dinner – and breakfast – for us and charged no fee for food or accommodation. It was up to you to donate what you could affort. The Albergue had great atmosphere and I guess that was because of the people who ran it. Dinner was finished with a simple reading about the meaning of peace, faith, love and hope. Simple and very moving.