Arriving to the quiet mountain village of Foncebadon from Astorga was quite an accomplishment for us. We hit the intense climb up the beautiful mountain around 1:30 pm, and the sun was strong. Jon’s new shoes were a life-saver, he was passing me up the steep path without pain! We stayed in the first albergue we saw upon reaching the abandoned village (alburgue Monte Irago for all my fellow pilgrims reading this blog) because it had a vegetarian communal meal. The ‘staff’ all worn loose bright Thai-fishermen pants and Indian-inspired art hung on the walls- had we come to a hippie commune? Maybe, but the vegetarian paella was incredible and the no-internet policy encouraged us to actually meet new people and walk the small village. Jon is planning on blogging in more detail of our time in Foncebadon, there is much to share.
Due to some heavy snoring we hit the next day’s climb late (7:45am, latest start yet). In the first 2 km we climbed to the highest point on the Camino: Puerto Irago “Cruz de Ferro”. This is a majestic spot on the Camino due to it’s height, 4,934 feet above sea level, and the humble iron cross atop a weathered wooden pole that stands as a gateway for pilgrims to Santiago. Piles of rocks symbolizing regrets, baggage, and sins of pilgrims fill the mound around the cross. Jon and I both took some time to kneel at the cross and leave our own rocks. It was a special place, I heard faint cries and prayers from fellow pilgrims around us and I know many of them were truly leaving something they’ve regretted at that cross. It was beautiful.
We arrived at Molinaseca around 2pm and decided to stay, mostly because of the swimming area under the Medieval bridge. The water was cold, but refreshing (Cicilia, stop in Molinaseca, it’s incredible). We also splurged, 35 euros, on a Casa Rural (private accommodations) for our own room and balcony and made an incredible lentil soup for dinner in our own kitchen (thanks for the recipe Mirra). It was a much needed break from all the snoring 🙂
There are so many stories I long to share about my own (Krysti) internal journey, but I need more time to processes it myself. The Lord is teaching me so much, hopefully I’ll be able to write about it soon.