From Leon to Astorga

From Leon to Astorga

Day 17, Monday 9 September 2013

Distance to Santiago:  321,1 km

LeonThe distance to Astorga was 55,8 km and it was our last shift by bicycle.  We left Leon about 8:30, passing Plaza San Marcos, San Marcos is a former monastery and hospital in the city of León. It is now a luxury hotel, and includes a church and museum.
The way to Astorga was relatively  flat but there was 1,2 km ascend.Leon Leon



To Villar de Mazarife




There was a steep downhill and even steeper uphill path after La Virgen Del Camino. It was hard and again I was asking myself why I torture myself like this.  Last night I noticed that I had trouble using my right hand when I could not press the toothpaste tube to add toothpaste on the toothbrush.  I had to use my left hand.  I did not experience any pain or discomfort and concluded that it might be the strain caused by being on a bicycle for eight hours.   Therefore I made effort  to change arm and hand positions regularly while on the bike.  What I found on the Camino was that the pain, desperation, effort and exhaustion were always rewarded by nature, the tranquility, the wind, the sun, the road, the farmlands and my daughter always being supportive.

Signs like this sometimes provided the necessary encouragement.

On the way to Vilar de Mazarife Villar de Mazarife Villar de Mazarife

Puento de OrbigoWe stopped for lunch at Puento de Orbigo, one of the longest and best preserved medival bridges in Spain.

Santo Toribio Cruceiro Santo Toribio

The village Santo Toribio named after a  bishop in Astorga in the fifth century. He is credited with having brought a relic of the Cross from Jerusalem, which is kept in the eighth-century monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana.
Cruceiro de Santo Toribio. This stone cross commemorates the 5th century Bishop Toribio de Astorga who supposedly fell to his knees here in a final farewell having been banished from the town.
San Justo de la Vega small village outside  Astorga.
San Justo de la Vega
Astorga is an interesting city with rich history.  Astorga lies in the area of the Maragatos, a small ethnic and cultural community with distinctive customs and architecture.  The 9th-century Episcopal Palace (Palacio Espiscopal), designed by Antoni Gaudi.     Astorga






We reached Astorga by 16:00, booked in at the Astur Plaza Hotel.  The bicycles would be collected the following morning and we prepared it for delivery according the instructions given.  We went sight seeing and were pleasant surprised with the shops, chocolate museum and historic buildings.  We did 55,8 km for the day.