DAY 22: San Martin del Camino to Astorga

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September 25, 2018

I spoke too soon yesterday. The albergue last night was so noisy with people snoring, coughing, talking in their sleep. One woman had a sleep apnea machine (I think that’s what it was)that wasn’t noisy, but kind of strange. The albergue did provide breakfast this morning, which was good and we were walking under a setting full moon by 6:30AM.
It was really cold this morning and I’m thinking I might need to start wearing a jacket in the mornings. The walk was much prettier today, through farmland and then a town, Hospital de Orbigo, that had a beautiful Roman bridge and an area that was used for jousting during the Middle Ages.
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Our destination, Astorga, is a  wonderful little city. Tuesday is market day, so we bought some fruit, cheese and bread for breakfast tomorrow. We walked through a Roman excavation site, and then on to the cathedral (there are probably ten churches in this town).Next to the cathedral is a home for a past bishop designed by Gaudi and built in the late 1800s. There are many Gaudi buildings throughout Spain and a park in Barcelona that I’ve seen and loved, so we went inside this one, too. It was massive and filled with stained glass windows. In the basement, there was a little museum with artifacts from Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages.
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We’re staying in the municipal albergue, Siervas de Maria. It’s an old convent and is huge with 250 beds. It’s like a maze, with hallways and stairways leading to the kitchen and gardens and rooms. We’re lucky to be in a room with only two bunk beds and a big window that lets in lots of light. Our “bunk mates” are a brother and sister from Valencia, Spain, who are doing about five stages of the Camino. The man had two knee replacements in the past few years, so he’s doing well to be able to do part of the trail.
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