17 June

Sunday, and since I don’t work on Sundays we got into the car and drove over to Astorga. After Astorga, Acácio and I went to Foncebadón and Cruz de Ferro to have a look at the place where I planned to place the paintings and speak with another two of the Camino’s characters.

In Foncebadón there is a legend (included in Paulo’s book The Diary of a Magus) that says that the town will rise up from its ashes, after being completely in ruins.

When Henrique began to build his beautiful medieval-style restaurant, the pilgrims would pass by and comment that they were fulfilling Paulo Coelho’s prophecy. He did not know what it was all about until the day he bought the book in Santiago, and then he understood.

Then we went to a hostel where Tomas lives in Monjarim el Acebo, near the Cruz de Ferro. Tomas is an old fishmonger who was ordered in a dream to live on the Camino. He performs rituals dressed in Templar’s clothes and wearing a sword. Here, in the wintertime, the snow is as high as his door, and the pilgrims are always greeted with hot coffee and lots of stories.

On the way back to Astorga we saw a beautiful rainbow.

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