October 7: Most Spanish people don’t eat dinner until after eight o’clock. Many restaurants don’t start serving full meals until at least seven. So after a day of sightseeing yesterday it was too late to blog when I got back to my hotel room. And I really needed my sleep. It paid off as I slept quite well and am feeling much better today, enough to walk the 24 beautiful kilometres to this charming little village. I paid top dollar for a private room in this albergue but if I don’t cough much tonight I’ll go back to the communal rooms tomorrow night.
Yesterday, besides sitting in outdoor cafes, we did some shopping and walked the beautiful streets of Old León, which was once a very important place. In some ways it is again and the residents are very proud of it. The excellent Museum of León, with English signage as well as Spanish, filled us in on the sweep of history. This whole area was a centre for the Knights Templar and the Camino is a very important part of the history.
A delightful, vivacious French woman named Geraldine took a liking to Julie over the past few days and has now become part of our company. Astaria, on the other hand, has left us to move forward by bus. She said that, being a pagan, it had become important to her to walk to Finisterre on the sea, a few days beyond Santiago so she had to jump ahead in order to fit it in. Geraldine is walking the Camino in stages each year and tomorrow she will walk with us then get on a bus and train to go home. She has been treating us to French songs and was even dancing in the street during our lunch break. Her English is rudimentary but we have had great fun bridging the language barrier with the help of my minimal French.
While I have been sick, Julie has gone into major mother mode, which she enjoys and does naturally. She makes sure I’m eating properly and gives me advice. With Susan doing the same thing from Canada, I’m doubly blessed! I do appreciate it. To be sick all alone in a foreign city would not be fun. (And we all know men are such babies when they’re sick.)
Today was a lovely walk through farmland but somehow less developed with some wild looking grasslands. It was mixed sun and cloud with a temperature of about 16, very nice for walking. We had decided (along with a lot of other pilgrims) to take a city bus to a village on the outskirts of Leon, missing kilometres of industrial area. It was a good decision.
Tomorrow, a relaxed walk to Astorga.