Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca (Camino de Santiago)

May 30, 2012 Its day 24 of walking the Camino and as with most mornings it was a dark start to the day as we followed the faint yellow arrows painted on the stone walls of Rabanal. Sunrise started with streaks of pink and whispery high clouds that formed a blanket of color overhead. The terrain continues to get woodier and in the distance the hills have grown in height and still carry snow near their summits. With the sun more details of the hills emerged and one was covered in the color purple. I assumed it was the same purple heather that grew along our path. The countryside just gets more magnificent. The first village we passed through was Foncebadon which seemed abandoned with many of the stone buildings collapsed and in disrepair. The path would continue to climb to the highest point of the Camino at 4937ft. Tim and I entered some trees and as we came around a corner we encountered a couple selling cherries. They handed us a sample of the deep red fruit and it wasn’t ten paces before we turned around and each of us a purchased a small bag. The ripe fruit was fantastic and their sweet  flavor distracted my mind from my tired feet until arriving at our high point and the important stop at La Cruz de Ferro (the Iron Cross). Tradition has it that a pilgrim leaves a stone from ones home at the base of the cross. The mound of stones left by thousands of pilgrims throughout the years is quite impressive.  I had carried a small stone from my backyard in Seattle and had inscribed the names of Doris Hood, Suzanne Allen, Elmer Hood and my two dogs Karma and Tara. All who had died over the last year. I climbed to the top of the mound and placed my stone at the cross’s base. In a nearby field a fellow played a Spanish version of a bagpipe. My eyes watered at the beauty and the somberness of the moment as I said goodbye. From the cross it was seven miles downhill to Molinaseca and the end of our days 16 miles of walking. Journal: “This afternoon after I placed my stone at the base of La Cruz de Ferro I said a prayer for those friends and family who had passed recently. I told God that I really do try to be a better person each day and asked forgiveness for my past wrongdoings.”