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Day 18 Hospital de Orbigo – Astorga 16km

My feet smell like butter. This morning, following the advice of the Frenchies, I cover my feet with butter (because I don't have any Vaseline) which makes them slippery and ensures my socks and shoes wont rub and I wont get blisters. I buy Vaseline the next time I'm at a pharmacy and it really works – I only wish I'd known this before I started walking. On this trip I have soaked my feet in vinegar and salt to help wounds, covered them with olive oil and butter in the mornings and I've even been told to put egg whites on them! I'm not sure whether I'm preparing my feet for walking or to be my lunch.

At about 9 o'clock today I walk innocently into an old red brick town, where nobody is around. I am in the middle of thinking how beautiful and old it is when I come to the town square, where six bulls are strolling towards me. This is fairly scary. These little towns have been having running of the bulls festivals over the last few weeks and I wonder quickly if I'm standing somewhere I shouldn't be... I stand up against a wall and watch as a boy on a bicycle rides up and herds the bulls along. Phew. Thank you boy-on-bike.

When I get to Astorga I decide to stop for the day. It's only a 16km day but I think my feet need some recovery time and my whole body feels heavy and tired. And, as though a sign from Santiago himself that I should stay in Astorga, there is a chocolate festival on! This little Spanish town, world-renowned for it's chocolate, is actually having a chocolate festival today. Joy, glee, great happiness melting in large white tents. I wander around tasting 90% chocolate, toffee chocolate, biscuits, nuts, fondue – everything. I also see the Gaudi cathedral, which is cool, and kind of like a Disney castle as one American points out. There are stained glass windows doubled up with stained glass windows in the cold grey cathedral walls. When I finally do fall into bed I sleep for about 14 hours, and feel so refreshed and good in the morning.

Posted by CharliePepper 09:47 Archived in Spain Tagged friends spain fun santiago hike de camino pamplona roncesvalles albergues refugios saint-jean pied-de-port

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