Day #27: Rabanal del Camino to Acebo, 17.0km

Today started out well.  I had breakfast at the Albergue since food options for the day were going to be sparse.  I was making good time going uphill to Foncebadón.  There was an Albergue there offering coffee and snacks for 1€.  They also had a warm fire to sit by.  I stopped by for a break before heading to La Cruz de Ferro, the highest point on the Camino at 1505m.  This is a special place for pilgrims too.  There is a tall pole with an iron cross at the top.  Pilgrims are supposed to bring a rock from home or other token to add to the huge pile from other pilgrims.

Before I left, I made a special trip to Smith Rock to find a rock for my Camino.  Yeah.  I left it at home.  So, I improvised.  I left two things.  One, a "You Are Loved" pin I got years ago from Fr. John Amsberry, a priest in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.  The second was an Oregon "heart" sticker.  I used the pin to secure the sticker to the pole.  Then I had someone take my picture in front of the pole with my Next Adventure flag.  It was pretty cool.

For the better part of the climb and for a little bit of the way down, it snowed.  Nothing that was really sticking, but it was wet and it was snowing.  In the middle of May.  In Spain.  Crazy.

The walk down the mountain was pure torture on my body.  I had originally planned to walk 3km past Acebo to Riego de Ambros, but by the time I made it to Acebo, I knew I couldn't go any further.  There were three Albergues in Acebo to choose from and the one at the end of town run by the local Parish looked the most promising.

I found it and was warmly greeted by an Italian hospitalera.  She was so sweet!  This albergue was donativo and provided dinner and breakfast too.  Usually, when there is a communal meal, the peregrinos are asked to help with the meal, so I offered and was given a job.  I made the fruit salad for dessert.  I cut up oranges, apples, bananas, and canned pineapple.  We put the pineapple juice in, plus the juice of three lemons, and four oranges.  Sounds weird, but it was so good!

Dinner was a typical Italian meal.  Bread, water and wine, with pasta for the first course and sausages in red sauce with potatoes and carrots for the second course.  I sat with three Germans and a Japanese peregrino.  We had a great time.

I went to bed early, but had a rather loud snorer nearby, so sleep was so-so, even with earplugs.