Long day with a few blessed oasis sightings…made it to Leon!
by Captain Bradley
It's always strange to be the first pilgrim up and moving. Hosts here not up. Other late-arrival guests were not moving. I had a €10 bunk in a 4-bunk room all to myself. Window open. Cool and quiet past 11pm. Slept fairly well.
My alarm goes off at 6 everyday here. I get up about 6:30 or so and get out the door by 7. 7:15 today and the sunrise 🌅 and Galicia mountains glowing purple in the far distance was my morning highlight.
Not much to see from Religeos to Leon. Few places to eat and be refreshed. Pack your own snack and the first town I walked to surprised me with this very green peregrino park.
Beyond that, not a lot.
Until you reach Casablanca!!!
Delicious selection, cafe seating, and very clean bathrooms. Tortilla, croissant, and grande zumo de nanjara filled me with goodness.
Several new pilgrims to me passed my way and I was alone most of the day.
But a fellow was taking pilgrim pics for his "1,200 pilgrim" book to come. Search on Instagram.
He was a joy. Used a real camera and a Polaroid too! Funny.
Dragging a bit, I ran into this cutie and dropped €.50 for a tiny spot of limon Fanta.
Sweet moment. Then.
Sweating a lot and climbing a man made hill next. Blahhhhhhh.
Then, just a few km from Leon, I caught up with an older gal from Sweden and younger gal from Ireland. The Swede was more my speed. She has quite a story too. God's speed, Camino Swede! She rides to Santiago tomorrow. Gave me advice about my challenged left shin. Gracias.
Irish gal needed to see the pharmacia, so I offered my Buen Camino and found the yellow arrows again.
Winding my way by memory, I found our first Albergue on our last Camino. Host was nice, but explained the bank holiday this Tuesday that somehow fills up the city on Sunday. Could not even pull up my Marriott app to fix this. With no cell service nor free wifi available, it was up to me and Brierleys book to figure this out. I walked around a while, found completo signs on doors, briefly considered the Parador, then desired to leave town for a B&B I barely recall about a mile from the bridge leaving town.
But, Brierley strikes again.
Here I am. Next to a miniature Central Park with no crowds. Sweet Rhea serving me a starter cervesa and now my dinner with chilled vino tinto. Life just got a little better. When I saw the mix of older and younger couples staying here, I knew that this was my place. And it is. Picture staying the afternoon and evening in a cool corner of Brooklyn or like vs. Times Square.
4 hours to sunset and what shall I do as a well fed, still large for Spain, ready to stroll guy. I think I'm about to find out.
Beautiful still in Leon.
Then, I must find Jamon.
All delicious. Jamon, chorizo, queso and vino tinto too. Perfecto!