VDLP Day 35 – La Bañeza to Astorga. My last day on the Via de la Plata.
This was 24 kilometres from La Bañeza to Astorga. It was the final day of the Via de la Plata. The Via de La Plata runs of course from Seville all the way north to Astorga. Most of the people that I have met on the Via de la Plata headed west from Granja and they moved on to the Camino Sanabres, whereas I and four other pilgrims headed north to Astorga.
This was our final day on the Via de la Plata and we’re heading into Astorga. It was a great day, but getting fairly hot and sunny by the end of the day. Some interesting moments too.
I set off ahead of the others on the early sort of pre-dawn. A few kilometres out of La Bañeza I met two rather nasty minded dogs on a farm and this time they were loose and decided to come at me, so I tried the technique that I had learned from a fellow Pilgrim which was to face up to them, shout at them, point my sticks, and that stopped them in their tracks. After that there was no problem.
So, it was a lovely day’s walk. It was quite a special day, the last day on the Via de La Plata and of course, special in another way because in Astorga we would join the Camino Frances. I was curious to see how many more pilgrims we would meet in Astorga.
On the Via de la Plata, I probably only met maybe 20 people over the course of a month, and it was going to be many more than that of course, in Astorga. And sure enough coming into the Plaza Mayor in Astorga there were lots and lots of pilgrims everywhere. I was a little bit confused about finding my hotel because I had booked a hotel called Eurostars and I found out it was the same hotel as the spa hotel.
So, I had a rather nice hotel for rejoining the Camino Frances. I hadn’t been sleeping too well in the albergues and thought I’ll try and get some privacy and a good night’s sleep before starting out the next day. It was great to be back on the Camino Frances. There was definitely a different vibe in the town. There are lots more pilgrims under 60, of course. The Via de la Plata seems to attract an older type of pilgrim, but it was exciting to be on the Camino Frances if only for a few days before I head off onto the Camino Invierno.