Monday, October 1, 2012

Rabanal to Acebo via Cruz Ferro (Sep 28)

Leaving Rabanal we climbed gradually and after about 6 km we rested at a small mountain village of Foncebadon. We kept looking towards the top of the ridge for tbe Cruz de Ferro, the Iron Cross. Another  2 km on we finally came to it, a surprisingly small cross set ln top of a tall pole marking the highest elevation point of the entire Camino route, standing more than 1300m above sea level..

Many brought stones and other memorabilia from home to be placed on the base of the Cross. From us we placed a small local stone that K wrapped with a small piece of fabric that Yvonne used to wear. It was an emotional moment for us as the loss of Yvonne had so much contributed to our decision to make this journey.

Leaving the Cruz de Ferro we began the descent. There was nothing much in the 9km to El Acebo stop for tbe night apart from Manjarin, an abandoned village  populated by just one man (and a couple of cats at least) who ran a primitively constructed refuge and provided simple food and drinks on "donativo" (donation). Simple, but the shelter received mention in most guide books.

Manjarin with a population of one.

The steep descent was very difficult, made worse by the large loose stones tbat covered tbe track. Soon our knees and ankles were hurting, so at an opportunity a few kilometres from Acebo we switched to walking on an asphalt road that wound down the mountain at a more gentle slope for road traffic. Easier on the feet, not necessarily safer.

Acebo, a revived village of stone houses, is now a pilgrim village that has numerous accommodation and a bar restaurant tbat served more than the usual basic sandwiches and tapas. We had an enjoyable dinner sharing a local dish of sausages and pork leg stewed with paprika and chickpeas.

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