Day 19. Saturday, September 13, 2014. Rabanal del Camino. We had an easy start this morning, getting lost only briefly before finding our way. By the time we got to the first town we were ready for breakfast and found a lovely, flower-filled cafe run by Pilar. She offered a number of breakfast sandwiches on a flatbread. To every person who ordered she assured that they were the order was the most delicious the person would ever have. After all she had made them herself.
After that town we started a moderate ascent into the Mountains of Leon. We have left the barren plains and will climb two mountains before reaching Santiago. At the next town we prayed at the church and quickly continued our walk. Throughout the day we continued to ascend until the path became steep and rocky as we reached our destination. As we neared the town there was a wire fence where pilgrims had woven crosses out of sticks. Fr. Tom took the opportunity to add one of his own.
We found an albergue run by an English group. When they found out we are priests they offered us a separate room. The albergue is next to a small monastery where we will celebrate vespers tonight and the three of us will celebrate Mass in English.
At the albergue is a married couple from Roanoke, Virginia, a volunteer from Charlottesville and, of course, the two of us [Father Peck is from West Virginia], so Virginia is well represented. The hospitaleros here are known for their kindness to pilgrims, and are especially attentive to those with foot ailments. It was not a long day and we have time to relax before the next stage tomorrow.