Day 18 – El Camino – Leon to Villar de Mazarife

Leon to Villar de Mazarife, an alarm was sounding at 5h45. I heard it. I am sure the other three heard it. No one budged. No one blinked an eyelid. The alarm continued to sound, unabated.

~6 hours
thongs; boots
clear skies, but cold and windy in the morning; sunny with chilly winds midday; sunny and warm in the afternoon; some clouds and chilly in the lat afternoon
– Albergue: 5€

At 7h00 I got up and saw everyone still fast asleep. I set my alarm to go off at 7h10, I let it sound, I let it sound loudly.

This is the first time in a long time that we have been late in our wake up schedule. We went across the road for breakfast. 2€50 bought us a cup of coffee, a cup of orange juice AND a ham + cheese toasted croissant. Value!

We rejoined the Camino trail, it snaked its way through the city centre. For some time we walked towards the sun, rising in the East. But after some time the sun was at our backs and we were heading in the correct direction.

Here are some touristy photos I took of the beautiful architecture and monuments in town.

Léon is a large city and it took some time before we were at the city limits, perhaps four or five kilometers. There were some Hobbiton-style houses, kind of built into the ground with grass growing over the top.

At the first village outside of town, there was a church that had statues resembling those designed by Antoni Gaudi, who conceived La Sagrada Familia.

The road then forked: to go straight would take us along the highway and main roads; to turn left would take us to Villar de Mazarife and through a more interesting landscape (we guessed).

By the second village, merely eight kilometres from our starting point, my right achilles tendon was not right. Each step brought on a sharp pain straight up the heel. I changed into thongs for a change and this allowed me full articulation of the heel.

Although we were no longer in the desert, the landscape looked dry and oft-times barren. One needed only to look for beauty to see beauty.

Here are some gems I saw on my walk.

Two kilometres out of our destination town, someone had thrown up their running shoes on to the power cables overhead. Had they given up?

Coming into the town, there was a beautiful mural depicting (I assume) the story of Villar de Mazarife.

The albergue, Albergue de Jésus, where we are staying in is fantastic, probably one of the best so far. It had a pool, though it was closed for cleaning. A fully equipped kitchen for the pilgrims, a full bar and restaurant on site, a sun terrace and a luscious green yard out the back all added to the luxury of this place. For only 5€ it was a welcome find.


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