We began our stage today in Foncebadon, a mountain village with a single unpaved street. We delayed leaving until 7:20 so as not to do too much mountain climbing in the dark, only to discover we were in the midst of very dense fog. It was pretty cool.
2 km in we reached the Iron Cross. I had expected that the dawn would have risen by the time we got there, but probably due to the fog it was still dark.
The Iron Cross is probably the earliest and most famous monument for pilgrims on the Camino. There apparently has been a sacred monument in this place since Roman times or before. The monument consists of a small iron cross mounted on a tall pole atop a mound of rocks and stones. It is a place where pilgrims leave stones which they have brought with them for the origin of their Camino. The stones can be placed as a memorial or prayer, or can represent some symbolic weight that the pilgrim is wishing to let go.
I brought a small pebble of limestone from the creek bed in our backyard. Rich carried a fossil (exogyra).
As you can see from the elevation profile we had a very steep and long descent off the mountain today. No view because of the fog for a number of hours.
Now we are in Ponferrada seen in the distance in this last photo.