|Antoni Gaudi's Episcopal Palace in Astorga|
|Cathedral in Astorga|
|Some wanted company|
|Refugio and Benedictine monastery|
|Tea is served every afternoon at 5 p.m. - very civilised|
Whereas, I was feeling tired while crossing the Meseta, the prospect of crossing another mountain range has energised me. I am not sure whether this is in my imagination, but the colours of the landscape seem to me much more vibrant and alive. I have also loved the pathway strewn with thyme and lavender.
Even when I am spending time with Alan and Sophie, my richest moments are when I am walking alone. I enjoy their company and our shared humour but love the solitude. They tend to walk at a faster pace than my own. My pace is the pace at which I can derive the most benefit from my Camino. Walking with Alan and Sophie has brought out my frivolous and silly side, never very far from the surface anyway.
Yesterday I walked across the mountain from Rabanal to Molinaseca. Five years ago, this journey was accompanied by physical discomfort. This time it has been almost effortless, partly because I will take breaks in my walk when necessary.
Today I have been walking through Ponferrada and on to Cacabelos. It is in Ponferrada that Sophie will be leaving to return to France and eventually back to England. Tomorrow I will be passing Villafranca del Bierzo and onward to Vega de Valcarce before tackling the third mountain range of O´Cebreiro. I am loving this journey.