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Day 19 – El Camino – Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

Villar de Mazarife to Astorga, I beat Matt to the first town. I beat him! But first… Aaron, Sam and I played a joke on Matt. We put a fat stone in his bag. Hahahahaha.

29km
~7 hours
ibuprofen gel
early morning it was super cold and windy; mid morning sunny but cold; midday it was hot and dry; early afternoon was sunny and hot; late afternoon was sunny but cool
12€50
– Albergue: 5€

We had our croissants, bought the day before, downstairs in the kitchen. It was 6h00 and we were talking at normal volume, forgetting that pilgrims were still asleep.

As we headed out of town, Matt took the lead as usual. He has the long leg advantage, but I kept up pace not far behind him.

It was still dark and I could make out a shape in the distance and I wanted to tell Matt: ‘What an interesting rock formation!’, a joke that keeps getting used. The large shape was in fact a dense little forest.

I overtook him for two seconds and he did not seem to like that. We both sped up and tried to overtake one another. Eventually, I started running and he tipped me and then I started chasing after him. This happened twice on the nine kilometer march into the first town, I just happened to arrive first.

When we got to the town, Matt found the fat stone and took it out of his bag. He then went inside the cafe and I put it back in. Hahahahaha

Aaron bypassed the town and we met him at the second village. It was weird that he did not come through the first town.

The final eleven kilometers were killer. About six kilometers in, there was a cantina set up in an abandoned farm house on the side of the Camino track. The lady tending to it was offering all pilgrims free food, drink and a credential stamp. You could donate to help her out.

Matt even took advantage of a hammock that was set up there.

Aaron and I walked the final few kilometers together. It was the longest and toughest part of the trek today. What we thought was 5.5 kilometers to our destination felt like double that.

Feeling thirsty and dehydrated, Aaron wanted to stop in at the Supermercado to buy some water. Though we were perhaps 45 minutes from our destination, he still bought 3L of the stuff. We ended up just carrying most of it. Ha!

As we arrived into Astorga, it was an agonizing walk. We climbed a small hill and went into the first albergue. Thankfully Sam and Matt had already booked us in.

Tonight we are having chicken with pasta and steamed broccoli. We also bought breakfast for tomorrow and it all cost 5€70 each. Nice!

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