Day 19: Cruz de Fero and the high point on the Camino.

Just the facts
Day 19: Santa Catalina de Somoza to Molinaseca
Distance: 25 miles / 40 km
Time: 8.5 hours
Total to date: 349 miles / 562 km
Aches and pains: None
Mean dogs: 1

The night had not yet lifted as I glided along, poles clicking with each step. Ahead of me I could make out four shapes staggered (not staggering) ahead of me. I eventually passed three of them but one kept his distance. I recognized him as Christian, a guy I had spoken with the previous day. He stood out because his pack was so big. His empty pack weighed more than my full pack!

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How he managed to walk so fast is beyond me. Curiously, this man had begun his camino at his front door in Germany. He has been walking for 99 days.

The climb to Cruz de Fero (the Iron Cross) and the highest point of the Camino was much easier than I expected. It made me glad for all the hikes I’d made high above the dam at home.

The Cruz de Fero is where pilgrims typically place a stone from home, a symbolic gesture of leaving a burden behind. The mound around the cross is the accumulation of millions of pilgrims stones. In recent years people have been leaving all sorts of momentos.

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Coming down from the cross took much of the afternoon and involved a lot of slipping and sliding over loose slate. Much of the route resembled a donkey track. Pity the poor soul who took his eyes off the trail for even a moment. Along the way were many crumbling old villages.

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Arriving in Molinaseca should have been uneventful but I’m not the Lost Girl for nothing! The 39 kilometer trip ticked to 40 when I couldn’t find the albergue.

It’s getting late and dark. There’s just enough light for me to pick a few cherries off the tree in the albergue garden.