July 17, 2008

Day 69: 21 June- Leon to San Martin del Camino

It was a lengthy hike out of the city of Leon. We left the albergue at about 6.15am, and it was hot already by 8am as we cleared the city. We passed an immaculately dressed Japanese woman near the Parador who asked for permission to take our photos as pilgrims. It was quite a delightful encounter, and she said she was going to Santiago too and might see us there..... I imagine she was going to arrive there the same day, so maybe not......
It was a hot walk, mostly not far from the highway.
Someone kind left this basket of treats out for passing pilgrims though, a cheerful thing on a day Rebekah had warned me was not the most pleasant part of the Camino...
There was a short section near one village where we had some respite from the main road.
It was a scorching hot day.... and I had really had enough by the time we arrived in Villadangos del Paramo.
But there we met an elderly Italian couple on their seventh Camino who were leaving all us sweet young things in their dust!!! They inspired me to carry on after several large ice-cold drinks. If I could reach San Martin del Camino today I would shorten the next day's distance to Astorga to something a little more manageable.
The albergues in San Martin were all on the main road through the village. I bypassed the one on the outskirts. Then I also bypassed a really nice looking place, with internet, in the village itself, as I was hoping the municipal albergue still to come would be set back off the main road a bit more. It wasn't.... But it was quite pleasant staying here, as only about ten of us rattled around in a huge dorm. And the shady trees and verandah were wonderful on such a hot day. And it turned out that both the nice place and the basic municipal albergue had the beds at the back, so noise wasn't an issue at night.
L&D arrived a little later in the village and were most surprised to find I had opted for the non-internet albergue: they had learned along the way that given a choice of places, I was usually to be found in the albergue that had internet!! I probably would have wandered back there if it hadn't been so very hot.... and a shower called...

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