Travel Date: Wednesday, May 7 2014

Got up early in the morning before the sunrise and starting walking uphill. The views while watching the sunrise are incredible.

And I am getting closer to those damn snow peaks.

The small towns up on the top are cute. And the wild horses too.

Finally I get closer to the top of the hill and I see the La Cruz De Ferro cross where I can offload the worry stones I have been carrying. I was given an angel stone by my friends Lucia and James Owens and another stone by Allison and Zac Gray.

Unfortunately while washing my clothes – I think – the stone from Allison fell out of my pockets and disappeared. So I picked up a similar replacement along the way.

The stones are meant to symbolize your worries and burdens that you carry with you from the start of your journey, so they recommend that you get a stone from your ‘hometown.’

There were many people dropped their stones and prays at the foot of the cross. I took some time off and focused on the stone I had and the worries I wanted to get rid of. There were many people taking turns putting their stones on the hill, and taking pictures. It was a spiritual and in some cases emotional moment for some.

After the cross I ran into old friends: Emily and Shayne from Australia. It was awesome since I hadn’t seen them in a few days and on the Camino a few days feels like eternity. We hug and catch up and continue to walk together.

I find out that today is Emily’s last day walking with us. Tomorrow her mother flies in and plans to walk the Camino with her. So we have to celebrate tonight.

It is a painful long descent downhill to the first town, where Emily and I catch up with Shayne, and I finally meet this guy everyone talks about Eduardo the Italian. I have heard so many stories about him from others like Shayne and others. Rumor has it he walks really really fast, and over 40K a day, and speaks 7 languages fluently, and is really really funny. Parts of the rumor are true, but it is hilarious how something small on the Camino can really be embellished through conversation.

We continue down to the next stop where Shayne was to desperately get coffee. Unfortunately, he forgets to pay the owner and the owner storms out to remind Shayne. This is Shayne’s walk of shame.

We continue walking at meet up at the bottom of the hill and celebrate with a drink and coke. Today I learned beer is cheaper than Coca Cola. And in some cases Wine is cheaper than Bottled water… Only in Spain!

We continue on to our destination in Ponferrado through the vineyards. There are some fallen pilgrims on the way.

After checking into the albergue we run into Kyle and Leah from Los Angeles, California and have a few minutes to wind down and celebrate the long walk.

Besides Emily’s last day it is also our new friend Sara (from Italy) 30th birthday. She actually buys us a round of drinks as it is tradition for her, and then it is our turn with cake and then dinner.

After a wonderful dinner we head back to the albergue and are ready for bed. It has been a long evening, and we are tired and ready to walk tomorrow.

Expenses: 33.42 Euro
Breakfast: 4 Euro
Lunch: 6.50 Euro
Break: 3.10 Euro
Drinks: 3.50 Euro
Cake: 6.32 Euro
Dinner: 10 Euro