Day 19. Igüeña to Labaniego (19 km)
The mountain walking is now officially over, but I remember some nice walking tracks through logging forests and just generally pleasant terrain. Nice views, nice paths. The hills of the Bierzo are on your left and there are vineyards and other agricultural production.
About 7 kms beyond Igüeña is the small town of Quintana Fuseros. On my first Olvidado, I arrived too early from Fasgar to stop in Igüeña and decided to keep on walking. When I got to Quintana Fuseros and went into the bar, the bar owner made a phone call and the mayor came down to meet me. After welcoming me to town and buying me a drink, he proceeded to call the owner of the casa rural. She had a neighbor open the house and left me the run of the place. She asked me to leave 20€ on the table. It’s not much of a town to look at, but the people are wonderful. The home was clean, modern, hot showers and good kitchen. But bring food because there’s nothing in town.
After Quintana Fuseros, as you are ascending to a forest, you’ll see a broken crucifix. The Cruz Cercenada represents the cross that was broken by Almanzor’s sword during a 10th century battle in the area. I think the idea is to turn it into something similar the Cruz de Fierro but I didn’t see any evidence of that.
Another 12 kms and you are at Labaniego. I have never stayed here, but Ender’s guide indicates there is “acogida de peregrinos.” This term means that you will find a place to sleep but no guarantees about bed or showers or hot water. Labaniego also has several casas rurales, and a couple are offered on booking.com. It’s a small place, several nicely restored homes, but no services of any kind that I can see on google. So I would be sure to bring food.
If you can walk 5 more kms, there is a small Hostal/Bar in Losada. On my last walk through, it was a terribly rainy day. I very much enjoyed a long stop and two hot cafés con leche. Wonderful people. You can tell a lot about a person’s character by her reaction to the entrance of a dripping wet pilgrim. Total hospitality, no worries about the puddles!