Upon leaving the city of Astorga, you will begin the last two hundred fifty kilometers; this last spread has some of the most impressive scenery that I seen since the Spanish Pyrenees.
The change in the landscape is overwhelming as the path merges with one from the mountains; the sites are breathtaking . You will find yourself feeling like an ant when you look up at the high roaming hills filled with wild flowers in shades of yellows, purples, reds, and oranges. The exotic smell of honeysuckle and mint quickly fills one’s senses. It is a magical walk and makes you feel like you are in a fairy-tale.
In this town( 25 Km from Astorga) there are two lodging places to choose from. A municipal albergue with a kitchen is one cheap option but for a few extra euros, you can stay the night in a nicer local inn. Next door to the bar is the perfect place for dinner ( La Taberna Foncebadon/tlf. 616 585 143). While Foncebadon has a population of under 100 people, the tavern is a touristic point. The tavern is a small restaurant with an atmosphere that will quickly take you back in time. From the cups which the drinks are served in, to the plates the meals are brought out on, to the outfits of the servers, everything in eyesight appears to be from the early 1900’s. If you do intend to dinner here, come very hungry. Quoting a fellow pilgrim, ” you can plan on being full for breakfast the following morning. The portions, especially the meats served, are delicious, yet enormous.”
For some people, Foncebadon is a place to avoid because it is said to be haunted with spirits and witches, and thus some pilgrims move on 5 km ahead to a very small town called Religios. The albergue there is one of the most unique along the entire path. It is a donative/free German albergue with a welcoming atmosphere; the hospitalero (inn keeper) keeps a small stay for about 15-20 people. Food is prepared and free for the pilgrims, however keep in mind, there is no electricity and thus no place to shower. If you stay here, be ready for a unique experience.