Wow, what a day. I started out early, to climb that 8km up to 1500m over sea level to the iron cross, the Cruz de Ferro.
I started the climb alone, but quickly met Kelly, a Canadian woman I had met at 2 nights ago in the Albergue. We continued to climb together, and it was quite the climb. After a coffee in Foncebadón, we got to the last 3k which go up to a 6% ascend.
And out of the fog appeared Gabriel, that angel we met when Maggie broke down on the trail. And once again one of these magic energy transfers on the Camino happened. One second I am almost crawling up, we greet and hug and continue as if we had just started the walk. After what seemed 5 minutes we turn around a corner and there it is!!!!
Tears shot into my eyes. Kelly started to cry and sobbingly went to put down her bag. I suddenly started to smile and feel so content, I turned to Gabriel, we hugged, and stood there for a minute Arm in Arm looking at the cross.
I went and gave Kelly a long hug. She said she had totally not expected that reaction. But I guess for everyone who started in Saint-Jean-Pied de Port it is a milestone.
Now I have never in my live believed in good, but on this fantastic journey come to the conclusion that my believe that energy is really the mystery and greater force in our universe, and as science teaches us, with the rule of the conservation of energy, never dies and such is pretty infinite, is pretty much what others call Devine or god.
Now, Gabriel said something to me on the way up that struck and puzzled me…
When I told him of my observation of energy transfers on the Camino, and how much he had just given me, he agreed that he had felt and seen this on the Camino a lot. The love we give to each other is a source of unlimited energy, that you can give without loosing it. He said: „if I give you my sleeping bag, then I don‘t have one, but this love and energy we share is infinite.“
And he is so right, for most people, we exchange that positive energy and loose non. There are of course some black holes that just suck energy and don‘t give any back. But they are a few, and you rarely find them on the Camino!
Now, what does that tell me about my believes and science? I honestly don‘t know!
But I do know I walked up to that cross, with so many emotions, and when I was just 3 feet away, I dropped to my knees and had a silent conversation with someone! I dropped my stone, and instead of breaking into tears, which I have done so often in the last two weeks, I smiled. I stood up, light as a feather and walked back to Gabriel and Kelly feeling such a inner content and happiness like never in my live.
Now, one needs to know, the Christians just adopted this custom. Before them the Kelts and the romans were leaving their stones at exactly the same place, probably with the same feelings. There is a magic on this hill that cannot be put into words!
I left the cross alone, with such an incredible energy, I was literally flying down the trail.
I met Gabriel again, an hour in, who was walking with a girl, and the two of them were even faster then me. I was able to keep up, jogging down the mountain for quite a while. It felt so good, after these days of agony and not knowing if and how I would get to Santiago. I did break one of my walking sticks going down. But managed fine with just one.
I left the two on top of the beautiful village of el Acebo, where I had breakfast in a bar, run by 5 young German hippies, with a wonderful story and the greatest food in a while. I ran into Francesco, Siri and some others, and continued my journey down the mountain.
It started to rain real bad when I hit the village of Riego de Ambrós. Well here all the water from the roofs was going directly to the streets. And the lowest point of the town was leading to the Camino leaving town. So all the towns rain fall went right down there!
I heard from Hunter it was a challenge before, but at times I thought I was swimming down the Camino! What a ride!
Which was one of the most challenging descents yet. I don‘t have a picture that does it justice, as I was just hoping to stay on the trail, without slipping and falling to my probable death!
I got to the next town Molinaseca in full rain. It was pouring, but the whole way down young people in cars and tents where camping along the road. There was the smell of weed in the air, so I first thought it was some kind of festival. When I got down, and saw the barricades I began to understand…
Then Hubter texted me, and said there is a crazy car race going on in this town, and he hopes I make it over the mountain and don‘t stop before.
It was pouring, but when I was just about to leave town, Hubter convinced me to come back, have a beer and watch the race…
So we watched them take of, and took some photos and videos. It was actually a lot of fun, and the rain stopped and the sun came out again!
We decided, even though we were quite late to get back on the Camino and do the last couple of km to Ponferrada, which was my original goal. As Ponferrada is a bigger city and I finally get to do my laundry. I was walking in wet cloth even before the rain hit today.
We get into town, and are greeted by the church bells.
We found a cheap Hostal, and are sharing a room. Soaking wet but happy. I am now doing my laundry and will catch some food after. What an incredible day!