Day 7 – Calzadillo de los Hermanillos to Astorgas

After a well earned resting period including a good night of sleep we set out to go as far as Astorga to recover some of the time lost on the previous day. So for the first time we were ready at sunrise. No flats, no bike problems, no delays. Amazing!

We set off to Mancilla de las under the threat of rain. During the way we got to see some of the original Camino roads fenced off. It is fascinating to see how the Romans influenced the region with roads, aqueducts and bridges. Those things are part of the backbone of the Roman Empire. The roads and bridges enabled their troops to move fast from one point to another. The aqueducts were a display of might.
All the way to León we kept bumping into Emilio and Giulia, a couple of modern day Romans. We ended up meeting in León and having a good chat over some food and coffee while we waited for the rain to pass. Yes, it started to rain as soon as we got to the center of León. The rain came and went fast. So we did our goodbyes and headed out.
Less than 10 minutes after we resumed our trip the rain came back with a vengeance. It was raining cats and dogs. On too of the rain we had a nasty wind. Yes you guessed it! Headwind.
We got our rain gear out and went head on into the rain. We rode for what seemed an eternity in the heavy rain and wind. I was having a great time just feeling the elements battling me and I forging forward, conquering every step of the way by fierce determination and brute force.
After 22 km the rain stopped and it was replaced by a warm Spanish sun. The headwind decide to stay. So all the way into Astorga we fought with the wind and we prevailed.
On the way between León and Astorga we stopped at Hospital de Órbigo. There are learned that Minchu was still in business with his Albergue Verde. He had treated me so well in my first visit in May of 2011.
I also got to see another character of the Camino. David, a guy that left the rat race over 3 years ago to dedicate his life to help the pilgrims by having a stand of food and water powered by donations. Mind you that I also meet David on my first Camino trip so I know now that he is legit.
We finally arrived in Astorga, settled for a hotel, had dinner and prepared our stuff for tomorrow.
Tomorrow we will do our climb to the Iron Cross. This will be the second big climb in our route leaving our biggest challenge just a day after tomorrow. That will be the climb to O Cebreiro – more on that when we are done climbing.
So this is it. I am really tired after our great ride so I bid you good night and ask you to wish us a Buen Camino!

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