A short walk of about 2.5 kilometers downhill from Cruz Ferro, we find the closest thing to a shopping mall for pilgrims in the deserted looking village of Manjarin.
There are signs of Roman mining activity in this area, but the city of Manjarin has its origins linked to the 9th century. The Manjarin economy was based for centuries on the livestock, the benefits of trade due to road and subsistence agriculture. During the mid 20th century, like many other mountain villages, the city was depopulated, until in 1993 a hermit named Tomas Martinez, resumed the work of “hospitaleros” Camino de Santiago. ~ Wikipedia
I’m assuming Tomas is in the photo above. One of the Camino Forum posts said this, “It is said to be about the most basic albergue on the Camino. No showers, only cold water from the fountain outside, and you sleep on some boards which are more or less loosely just above the main room. There were some foam pieces, not really mattresses.” Another post mentioned there was no plumbing so you use an outhouse, which would be quite inconvenient when you need to climb a ladder down from the upstairs of the shed.
We donate to the cause and pour a cup of hot coffee, look around to absorb the rustic ambiance. Randy does consider buying a shell but decides he doesn’t want to carry it and will wait until the end.
The path may be muddy but the views are spectacular today!
Going down the mountain proves to be treacherous as we carefully place each foot forward, trying not to cause an injury. The above image shows our path as it snakes its way down and we get a glimpse of what is ahead. Our goal is still Molinaseca, but it is taking longer getting down the mountain than anticipated. We soon find that the mountain descent threatens to claim a victim among the members of our group.