50 Days of Camino

Kevin Soltysiak's travel log of the way of St. James, the "Camino de Santiago"

Hospital de Órbigo — Rabanal del Camino

We woke up as the sun was rising. Although the first part of the way wasn’t very fun, it was the first time in many days that I was walking with Loïc again. We caught a bit with the events of the previous days, and we reached Astorga before the end of the morning. He too was enjoying being less surrounded, and had planned on doing long days to reach Santiago as well. Once there, he would see whether he would wait for some friends or go on his own.


Despite our plans to reach Santiago quickly, Astorga felt like it wanted us to stay. We took coffee/breakfast at two places and each time the music was great and made us want to stay until the end of the track, only for the next track to do the same. The whole town had a really good vibe. We found this cafe called Sonrisa where the staff was so smiling and happy! One of them was a photographer and you can see the result of his work below.

Right at the moment where Loïc was getting ready to leave, he stumbled upon Paul. We stayed there for half an hour more, and what was intially a short break lasted longer than expected… But at some point, we all felt it was time to move on. Maybe it was due to Queen’s The Show must go on being the last really good song they played.

I knew that Krista and Saula had planned on staying in Astorga that day, and part of me wanted to stay there. Not only to see them again, but also to have a chat with Brice, the root of all dramas. I knew that I should have let go of it but the whole thing was bothering me. It didn’t feel right that he was getting away with being a dick… But I shoved those feelings aside and we started walking with Loïc and Paul. We took a break around noon for lunch, and right after we left, Monica told me (by text) that Brice had left the Camino.

Boy was I pissed. I was robbed of my revenge! My nemesis was gone before I could… well, I don’t know what I would have done or if I’d have done anything, really, but the choice was now out of my hands. I was overdoing the whole thing for the sake of entertainment, but it truly bothered me. I took off my frustration on a stick that I ended up breaking, after that I walked as fast as I could until I reached Rabanal del Camino, joined shortly after by Loïc and Paul.

We had started being in mountains again; the meseta was finally over. They both had planned on going higher in the mountain, but since it was already late in the afternoon they stayed as well. We found our albergue, a very nice place halfway between modern and classic. Once again, except the three of us I knew none of the pilgrims staying there. We met Jess, who was playing music on her phone, the same kind that we had in Astorga. The same kind that we liked :) She also had made a lot of soup for everybody. Between her and Paul who had paid for lunch and bought a round of beers that night, I felt like everybody was taking care of me. A bit overwhelming at times!

How cute is that?