The second day of walking started with a coach ride up to Foncebadon, the highest point of the trail (1482 m). Only the second day of walking, and already a deep delirium has taken hold of many members of the group. The Romans had a phrase: solvitur ambulando, meaning “it is solved by walking”. In the case of our plucky pilgrims, however, I fear the Romans couldn’t have been more wrong. An excess of walking has brought them, already, to this sorry impasse.
Look, here they are at the famous Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) about to throw pebbles at someone innocently taking a picture.
Usually, people stop here to place, at the base of the cross, pebbles they brought from home in an act meant to symbolise leaving part of themselves on the camino. It seems they left more than just the pebbles. As, after leaving this special area everything went down hill – literally.
This poor, poor man seems to have been the most damaged by this mass hysteria.
Here they are taking pictures of dirt and stones.
Leaving the heady heights of Foncebadon at a blisteringly steep pace our perplexed pilgrims reached a hippy commune.
Despite the immaculate conditions of the living areas and facilities none of them were tempted to remain.
The day ended, rather predictably, with copious amounts of alcohol, drunk while overlooking a magnificent Roman bridge in Molinaseca. For now, the delirium seems to have abated, soothed by the booze. So, really, what the Romans should have said was solvitur bibendo – “it is solved by drinking”.