Day 29, Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

Knowing that today was 31km I set off straight after breakfast leaving at 7.50am, I wanted to make sure that I was not walking in the dark but I also wanted to arrive in Astorga at a decent hour.

This morning the sun rise was spectacular, the best yet I think. The sky started a deep red then went orange before yellow but in the middle the whole sky took on a pink glow it was just absolutely stunning. I kept having to stop to just watch the changes.

The walk today whilst long was one of my favourites. It was really beautiful scenery the whole way. We have definitely left the Meseta now and it is so much more enjoyable.

The first 14km was quiet, I was still walking the detour alternative route from yesterday and therefore there were far fewer people. I had planned to have a coffee on reaching the village after 14km but made a school girl error. I passed the first stop since there was no one there thinking that I would stop at the next place, there was nowhere else. I should have learnt by now, in a small town always take the first stop! I was a little gutted but having consulted my map realised that there was another small village 3km onwards so I kept going.

At the next village, I was straight into the first place I saw, I was not making the same mistake twice. I sat and had a coffee and some nuts and a banana since today will be long and I wanted to have a proper rest. 

The weather is just stunning at the moment. Cool in the mornings so I start the day in trousers but my mid morning at a coffee stop I swap into shorts. I am still experiencing the challenge of always walking in the same direction so my left side is getting all the sun! There is a marked difference despite layering in the sun tan lotion,

After about 25km I was starting to feel the impact of the day, the scenery was still stunning but I was tired, I have been spoilt with 22km days for the last 10 days. I stopped for a drink about 6km out of Astorga just to recharge before heading into town. 

I had to sympathise, I felt much the same way

On arrival, Astorga is a very attractive town. I was tempted to head out exploring but then at checkin it became clear that there was a spa in the hotel. That was actually a little grand but there was a tiny pool with a hot tub and a sauna so I dropped my things and headed straight for the pool. It was heavenly after a long day. As I walked in Dawn and Jim were just heading out. They had a relaxed day today and were enjoying the spa. 

I am now about to pop out an explore a little before meeting for dinner at 7.30pm.

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