Stone me

Day 22. Wednesday July 25
Foncebadon to Pontferrada

I wanted to start this entry with a optimistic uplifting story for a change but sadly my current physical condition does not allow that

During the course of the day I began to develop what I thought were insect bites (not bed bugs) all over my body.

By the time I arrived at the overcrowded aulbergu at Ponferrada they were everywhere. The ones on my neck having a particularly starting effect on my companions

But it’s the ones on my head that are alarming me. They are so numerous that they make me look like the elephant man. Or a Klingon

I’ve decided they may be some sort of allergic reaction. I have no idea what has caused them but I can only pray that anti histamine tablets work.

I feel like so e sort of leper. Fitting for a medieval pilgrimage route

Last night we stayed in a strange ….. street

Because that is all Foncebadon is. A street.

Up until the recent past its only inhabitant was a woman who refused to let them take away the church bells in case she needed to call for help

The hamlet is reputed to have been the home of a witch and was famous for the ravenous dogs that patrolled its streets

I can confirm that some dogs are still around cos were heard them going bonkers in the early hours as we slept on our mattresses in an attic room.

But the Camino is coming to Foncebadon’s aid. It still retains a somewhat derelict ambience but there are now three hostels catering for pilgrims staying the night in these hills.

And a restaurant run on a somewhat bizarre medieval theme by a big bearded bloke dressed in some sort of fox skin gilo.

Today we reached Cruz de Ferro where for centuries pilgrims have been leaving stones in a symbolic act of casting away sins

They leave other stuff as well. Pictures of children. Little notes. And in one case a pair of socks.

Not quite sure what that was all about.