Days 17 - 19
July 12 - 14

    326 km left.  I've crossed the half-way mark.  My ankle was swollen, I had 7 blisters, and my little toe looked like hamburger, but I was making it.

    Though I was limping and needed to rest I wasn't going to the hospital, as the sign says.  That was the name of the next town.

   On the hill overlooking San Justo de la Vega.  Many towns placed crosses on the hills above them like this.
     The Cathedral of Astorga.  In this town it was a market day when I was passing through.  I got lost a few times because there were so many people and I couldn't see the arrows pointing the way.
    I decided to stop in a very small town called El Ganso.  I knew there was an albergue, but I didn't know the conditions.  It was just a room in a government building with beds, nothing more.  It didn't even have a bathroom or showers.  I had to wash what I didn't mind exposing in a nearby cattle fountain.  At least this one was free.  Fortunately there were two cafes serving food, and most important, a Coca-Cola machine.
    The Cruz de Ferro.  (Cross of Ferro)  This was at the highest point on the trail.  It was just a small cross on a 6 meter pole.
     Rabanal del Camino.  This was one of the saddest towns I've seen.  It was a tiny mountain village.  On the left are the ruins of a church.
    In Foncebadon.  This is either a cross or an arrow on the side of a house.  In this part of Castillia y Leon Province there were many houses build with stones.  Most were abandoned and the roofs had caved in.
   222 km to go

   I made pretty good time over these days.  This was taken in the village of Manjarin, population: 2.  No kidding, the town was completely abandoned except for one albergue.  I bought a soda and had lunch nearby.

    What a strange place to put a town.  I've never understood how people end up living in places like this.
   All over the mountains in the area there were these purple flowers.


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