Optimism was still on our side on the second day. We left Villavante at 7 am and filled our bottles at the fountain in front of Albergue Santa Lucia. It was an easy 4 km walk to Hospital de Orbigo. The morning breeze was on our side and there was no rain.
The yellow arrows of the Camino led us to a bridge over the Rio Orbigo. It dates back to the 13th century and is one of the most well preserved medieval bridges in Spain. It was much longer than I thought it would be, very impressive for its age. Just across the bridge was the town of Hospital de Orbigo. We stopped at the first bar and had huevos and fresh orange juice. It was delicious!
Once we passed Hospital de Orbigo, we had the option to follow the road or take the scenic route. We took the latter and 10 km later we found ourselves at la Casa de los Dioses. David runs this small cantina serving fruits and tea for free to passing pilgrims. At the front kiosk, you have the option to donate and get David’s stamp on your pilgrim’s passport. It was a refreshing experience. We sat at the bench to air out our feet, enjoy some fresh oranges and watch other pilgrims’ reactions to the free fruit stand.
The exhaustion finally caught up with us as we pushed ourselves through the last 5 km to Astorga. There was one last hill to battle before getting to town, at this point my body felt like a sack of wet laundry being dragged up a road. We reached the town early in the afternoon and collapsed on a bench at Plaza San Francisco. Once again we contemplated what we were doing with our precious vacation days. Then we got up and continued walking.
The yellow arrows took us to Plaza Catedral and we gawked at Gaudi’s Palacio Episcopal, one of the 3 buildings by Gaudi outside of Catalonia. A friendly nun approached us and gave us a Virgin Mary pendant. She didn’t speak English, so we thanked her in our best Spanish, ‘Gracias! Muchos Gracias.’
It was still early in the afternoon and the pain in my feet was clouding my judgement. After walking almost 20km from Villavante, we decided to walk another 5 km past Astorga, to the small town of Murias De Rechivaldo. We wanted to crush our own schedule, which had us listed to stay in Astorga for that day.
It was a relatively flat path and we made it to town just as it started to rain. We stayed at Casa Las Aguedas and had a lovely vegetarian dinner with our fellow pilgrims. I think it was one of the best dinner of our whole Camino.
We sat around the table and had typical Camino talk. Where are you from? and where are you going? We met a lovely Canadian couple, an enthusiastic pilgrim from Germany, an older man from Korea and an Australian woman that seems to have walked a million Camino’s in her lifetime. Over dinner we shared stories and filled our bellies. We would see them all again throughout our journey.
Infographic – Villavante to Murias De Rechivaldo:
Check out the first day of our Two Week Camino by clicking at the link below