I decided that I wasn’t going to leave too early from Rabanal for a couple of reasons. One, there were so many new albergues in Foncebadón that I expected there would be a lot of people up to Cruz de Ferro early. So, there was no point in trying to get there before the crowds and likewise, there were quite a few people staying in Rabanal and many of those would be leaving early. I left, I think, at about 8:00 AM.
I had a short breakfast at the albergue. They started serving breakfast, I think at 7:30, tea, and toast. That was certainly going to fuel me until I got to El Acebo. It was interesting again, the amount of energy I had for the walk today, I really can’t put my finger on why that is, but the climb up to Foncebadón seemed very easy and I was up there within an hour, I think. I stopped for coffee in Foncebadón and met up with a few people that I knew. It was an exhilarating walk up to Foncebadón with fantastic views. I’m just great to be on that Camino Frances trail again.
After leaving Foncebadón, of course, it’s a fairly short walk of 20 or 30 minutes up to the Cruz de Ferro. I expected it to be an emotional time. It was, and probably more so. I met a lady very briefly at the Cruz de Ferro whom I had met just for a minute or two in the albergue in Rabanal. She seemed to be a little bit emotional and I asked her if she was okay and we both ended up very teary. And you know, both had a very emotional experience at the Cruz de Ferro. I was walking with my 2 American Camino amigos again and without really saying anything, the three of us hung back to wait for this lady and the four of us walked together. Then down to El Acebo, which was wonderful. At Manjarín, it was delightful to find a new coffee caravan selling fresh orange juice. We stopped there for a brief moment and then continued down to El Acebo, which of course is a fairly steep climb. We had decided to stay at the large albergue at the end of the village. In the past I’ve been reluctant to stay there as I thought it was rather modern and I prefer sort of older style buildings with more character, but we stayed there and it was actually a wonderful place to stay. If only to sit out on the terrace and just taking the views, it’s absolutely worth staying there just for that. The albergue beds were €12 and then we had the menu del dia for dinner, which was really nice. We thought we might have a quiet night. We were in an 8-bed dormitory room just the three of us. But then, by the time we came back from dinner, we’ve been joined by three young Koreans who had walked all the way from Astorga. They were very tired and that meant they all snored. Again, that was not the most restful sleep. But I have to say that albergue was great. The day’s walking was great and I was really looking forward to getting down into Molinaseca. We had decided that we would skip the breakfast that was available at the albergue in favour of having a really nice breakfast in Molinaseca because the main hotel there just on the right of the bridge does a great bacon and egg breakfast. So that was the plan.