Day 22 – Santa Catalina to Acebo 27.7km

We enjoyed our Belvita breakfast biscuits on the go this morning which meant we could start our day at 7.15am. It was still dark which we were pleased about because for some reason we can walk a lot faster before the sun rises. We powered through to the next town 4km away in 40 minutes which is definitely a record your us. Of course we couldn’t keep up this pace for the rest of the day, but we definitely wanted to cover as much ground before the rain came. When we got yo the second town of Rubenal we headed straight for the mini supermarket to stock up on some snacks and lunch. We spent the next 20 minutes sitting outside the store munching on a whole packet of chips and preparing our baguettes for later on.

Not long after we left Rubenal did we start to feel the first trickles of rain on our skin. This eventually turned into a thick fog as we ascended the mountain. Visibility was only about 50 metres at one stage which made it a bit unnerving as the wind also started to pick up. Just after 12pm we arrived at a town close to the peak of the mountain, pulled out our baguettes and sat down freezing under minimal shelter. I couldn’t wait to get moving again just to warm up the body but also because I was very excited to see the Cruz De Ferro (I.e. The Iron Cross) which was only 2km away.

Now the Cruz De Ferro is one of, if not the most significant monument along the Camino Frances. It is quite simply a small cross which sits atop a large pole and beneath it is a pile of rocks which have been left there from people from all over the world. Traditionally the rock you bring should be from your hometown but because we haven’t been home in such a long time, we found ours while holidaying in Germany. The rock is supposed to signify things that are weighing you down in life whether it’d be regrets, past mistakes, anxieties or negative thoughts. It can also be used as a memorial to a loved one who has passed away. We arrived at the monument when it could not possibly be any foggier, which is probably a good thing as there were only a handful of people there. We took our rocks, placed them at the base of the monument and walked away. I expected to feel a spectacular weight lift off my shoulders or for something mystical to occur. But I felt nothing. Should I have felt something? I walked off pondering what just happened and after a few kilometres I came to the conclusion that I didn’t really have a need to place a stone at the monument. I am genuinely happy with my life and grateful to have all the wonderful people I have in my life and also be able experience all that I have so far. So I don’t need to pretend to have regrets or a dark history to make my Camino experience seem more important, for me, the journey so far has just reinforced that I am in the right place in my life and I am relieved to know this.

The rest of the day continued to be very wet which made it very difficult to climb up and down some very steep mountains, but surprisingly the weather made it all the more comfortable! I absolutely hate walking on hot days to to be able to have cold weather, especially when you’re sweating up a mountain is certainly a blessing!

We eventually arrived in Acebo by 3.30pm soaking wet so decided to check in to the fanciest place in town for a bargain price of €10 each!

Total cost for today:
– Breakfast: €1 Belvita biscuits
– Lunch:€2 Salami and cream cheese baguette
– Dinner: €10 Pilgrim’s menu
– Snacks: €2 Chips and biscuits
– Accommodation: €10

Total cost per person: €25

Til next time
Ann & Jason xo

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