Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Vilar de Mazarife to Hospital De Orbigo to Astorga to Rabanal del Camino to Acebo


Before we had dinner last night, somebody suggested that we go see the museum. Pam and I were so surprised to find a man with his collection of parts from everything displayed. He is an artist. The photos can’t capture it. Notice the light fixture made from telephone receivers. There was a whole room of old telephones.

A room filled with old telephones.
I have more photos of his displays, but here is Pam and I with the artist.

This man was sure a collector.
The dinner absolutely astounded me. The salad actually had real greens; paella was great; and we had crepes with fruit and chocolate for dessert.

September 23rd to Hospital Del Orbigo
Today I noticed that the stop signs in Spain are in English.

Stop signs in Spain are in English.
I have been struck by a quote I received on the 18th via email. “The only way to live is to accept each minute as a unrepeatable miracle.” By Margaret Storm Jameson. What a wonderful way to describe my Camino.
Today, it is not the landscape. It is the wonder of it all.
Bridge into Hospital Del Orbigo.

The bridge into Hospital del Orbigo..
Ellen, an amazing woman I see often on the bridge.

Ellen is standing on the bridge.
Pam remembered staying at the Albergue Verde the last time she was here.

The livingroom at Albergue de Verde.

Pam is in the livingroom at Albergue de Verde.

Here is the owner, Mincho. He built this Albergue from the store house/barn next to his family home. He lives in India about 6 months of the year.

Mincho owns Albergue de Verde
After drinking Jasmine tea and taking a walk through town, I received the most wonderful massage from Andrea. I met Aya and Moran, from Israel, who are staying there working for about a month. At 6:30 Mincho led about 6 of us in a wonderful, meditative yoga class. Then we all shared a vegetarian dinner (leek/mushroom soup, vegetable paella, and a great cake) from their garden.

I met Faiza (originally from Egypt) and Steve from Australia and I continue to see them each evening. I also met Karen, Robin, and Betty who are from Toronto and Eva Beneyto who had been staying there for several days.
We slept until 8 and Pam left right away. She had a migraine and had to get outside. I had a hard time leaving, but finally Karen, Robin, and I left.

Karen and Robin walking.
I walked by myself for the rest of the day (about 18km – a good distance for me) to Astorga. Along the way I saw a couple working in the field.

Spanish couple are working in the fiels.
Then a man, who was also working in his field, offered me grapes. He said a few sentences in Spanish, but all I got was the word, “agua,” so I knew I needed to wash the grapes before eating them.

This man was offering me grapes.
Further up the road I found David and his stand. He lives there all year round without power or running water. Somebody brings him supplies. I walked his small labyrinth, ate the watermelon he cut for me, washed my grapes, and put money in the donation can.

David by his donativo.


David & Nancy at his donativo
I did see the French women who I had met in the bus depot going to Leon and they took my photo by the arrow made from stones.

This is David's Labryinth



Nancy standing by the stone arrow.

French people on Camino Frances.
Fairly close to Astorga was a wonderful statue/fountain of a pilgrim. When you ran the water from the fountain, water came out of the gourd.

Water coming out of stone drinking gourd.


I am by the stone pilgrim sculpture.
In Astorga I checked into San Javier Albergue.  We had many in each room.

I set up my bed and then I wandered through the town, had an ice-cream, and met Priscilla Stephane Battaglia and Leonardo Costa Pereira who are from Brazil and are presently living in London. The women from Toronto showed up. Diane was hurting and they checked into a hotel. Pam was also staying in a hotel and I didn’t see her again. We are communicating through emails and Facebook.

I went to the Cathedral and Gaudi Museum and then met Karen, Robin, and Betty for dinner in Plaza Major where we watched the two figures strike the clock.

Two sculpted figures are striking the bell in Astorga.

They kicked a woman out of our hostel last night at about 10:30.  Apparently, she had an argument with the woman in charge about eating inside one of the rooms.  The woman called the police and they kicked her out.  She walked to the hostel with the nuns (even though it was full) and they took care of her.  If they hadn’t, she would have been out on the streets.

I left just before dawn and walked for a bit with Malcom, a man from London. We stopped for breakfast in Santa Catalina de Somoza for breakfast. I asked for Zumo natural and the woman asked me if I would like vegetables also. She made me fresh juice with orange, carrots, celery, mint, and I have no idea what else, but it was delicious.
I came across toe repair in the field.

Feet are being repaired on the path.
After breakfast, I saw Pricila and Leonardo. The took a video of me telling Leonardo’s parents, who are in their 50s, that they are not too old to do the Camino.  It was so much fun.  I really like them.

In Rabanal del Camino I found another amazing Albergue and got the last bed available.  Dammar and Kevin shared the pasta lunch they had cooked with me.

Damar & Kevin sharing pasta in Rabanal del Camino
We went into the wonderful open yard and took everything out of our bags to check for bed bugs. Mine was, “All Clear.”  They were just being careful because their were reports of bed bugs coming fromSan Javier in Astorga.
At 4:00 we had “English Tea” in the courtyard.

We are drinking English tea.
Bob, one of the hospitaliers told us the history of the Albergue.
I finally met Laura from the Portlandia American Pilgrim group. I knew we had been hiking in close proximity  to each other, but hadn’t crossed paths yet.

Laura in the garden in Rabanal.
Ps couple in Rabanal make sea food paella and made enough for 8 of us for dinner. Nicolas, Bob’s wife made a salad from the garden.

Paella was delicious.


It was great to share paella with friends.
Nicolas told us a fantastic, animated version of the chicken in Santo Domingo De Calzada (where I visited the Cathedral on September 5th.

Here is the story:

Legend tells of a German Pilgrim called Hugonell who was walking to Santiago with his parents, when they decided to rest at an inn in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The owner of the inn´s daughter immediately fell in love with him; however her feelings were not reciprocated, so the girl, angered, placed a silver cup into his luggage and accused the boy of theft. Thieves at that time were punished by hanging, and this was the fate of Hugonell. His parents, saddened by his death continued the pilgrimage, and upon arriving in Santiago de Compostela, began their return journey to visit the grave of their dead son. When they arrived in Santo Domingo however, they found their son still hanging in the gallows but, miraculously alive. Hugonell, excited, said to them: “Santo Domingo brought back me to life, please go to the Mayor´s house and ask him to take me down”. Quickly, the parents arrived at the Mayor´s house and told him of the miracle. The incredulous Mayor, who was preparing to have dinner with friends, responded: “That boy is as alive as these two roast chickens we are about to eat,” and suddenly, the chickens came to life, sprouted feathers and beaks and began to crow, and so, to this day there is a saying about the town which goes: “Santo Domingo of the Way, where the roosters crow after being roasted”.

She is a wonderful storyteller.

The grounds of the Albergue were so beautiful and a wonderful place to relax.

Gate to Yard - Guacelmo in Rabanal was great.


Laundry Line in Garden at Caucelmo - Rabanal.

I love the stone houses in this town.  Anna had told me that I could stay here in the Monastery for 2 nights which would have put me in this town for 3 nights all together.  The stay in the Monastery would have been a silent one and very interesting to experience, but then I decided to just keep walking.

I left Rabanal at 7:15 this morning. The sunrise over Rabanal was beautiful.

A great sunrise over Rabanal.


Another view of sunrise over Rabanal.
I stopped for breakfast in Foncebadon and had organic muesli. It was really delicious.   Priscilla and Leonardo were there.  I was so glad to see them again.

Friends with Nancy in Foncebadon were wonderful.
I got to feed the local goat.

Feeding the goat

This woman has a new way to use sponges to cushion her shoulder straps.

Sponges for cushions

The Camino is back in the mountains so today was up and down with the steep down being through loose rocks. I loved it.

I am in a brand new Albergue in Acebo and had dinner with Faiza, Steve, and Marlin.  It is great to have dinner with new friends.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

6 thoughts on “Vilar de Mazarife to Hospital De Orbigo to Astorga to Rabanal del Camino to Acebo

  1. Looks like you are eating well. Thanks for all the pictures.


  2. Hey Nancy, I am so impressed with how you handle this trip. You make it sound so easy witch I am sure it’s not. Keep up the good work!


  3. The photos are great, Nancy. Maybe you’ll write a book? ;o) I especially like the sunrise photo of the church. Keep on keepin’ on.


  4. Wonderful descriptive photos. Are you close to or going to Oviedo?



  5. My dear friend, I’m just blown away with your fabulous descriptions and fabulous adventures you’ve had! Keep on having fun and enjoy your spiritual journey. Fondly, ann


  6. Nancy, your photos are wonderful. Thanks for taking us all on your Camino.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.