Day 26, Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

Yesterday was one of the best spots we have stayed, it was such a lovely place. We had pre dinner drinks in the courtyard and then the 5 of us who were staying grabbed the large table in the dining room. The restaurant was known for its food so a number of other pilgrims we knew came into eat. 

Dinner was great, they are known for vegetarian dishes which is most unusual, Dawn was OK for once. I started with paprika cauliflower, it was fabulous, then I had dorada (fish) and a salad followed by cheesecake, just so good, all this and red wine for €12.

The Couple from New Zealand who fished the Canadian out of the river were there for dinner.  I was chatting to them after dinner. They had been commenting how none of us looked tired or sore, I think that is because as a group we are loud and enjoying the food and wine, however when everyone got up and started to hobble off they realised that in fact we are all as sore as them!! It is entertaining as everyone assumes everyone else is finding it easy, and I think there are very few people who find this whole walk easy!

Today the walk was into Leon, it was described as terrible and even the guidebook recommends a bus! I didn’t find it that bad apart from the last hour which is to be expected given it is a big city. In fact I found the walk better then a couple of the last days. We had a couple of small hills which provided a bit of variety and Kari, George and I found a great spot for morning coffee.

It was a small bakery and cafe, full of locals, Kari and I popped in to order our coffee and they gave us two huge pieces of cake to go with the coffees, we obviously looked hungry!! It was fab. When George arrived we recommended it since we had free cake. He had skipped dinner last night as he has a cold and is not feeling great, so he came out with a huge apple tart, although he had paid for that!!

I do love the fact that in Spain there is no such thing as take away. If you want a coffee, you sit down and have it in a cup! It helps that the coffee is so good but it has changed my perspective on having coffee.

It is evident today that yesterday I burnt my lips, not sure whether it was wind or sun but either way, it is not a good look!! Note to self, use the sunfactor lip balm going forward.

I headed on after that and soon entered the outskirts of town. I then found Ricardo looking panicky. We confirmed that we were at the same hotel. Through a form of mime since my Spanish cannot keep up with him and he doesn’t speak any English he explained that he cannot find where he was on the map. I had to disappoint him since we were still 50 minutes away and not even on his map. I don’t think he believed me but decided to walk with me.

As we got closed we found a desk with a tourist guide and stamp for pilgrims, clearly everyone gets lost heading into Leon. Ricardo spoke to the guide who told him another 25 minutes and advised that he was still not on his city map. Ricardo was shocked and then stuck to me like glue. It was reassuring though, since my City map reading is not always the best and Ricardo asked almost every local we passed to ensure that we were in the right track, he didn’t even know me but clearly had no faith in my ability to navigate!! For once though I was spot on, he was very grateful.

We arrived around 12.30pm. Dawn was just checking in having taken a cab again. Her knees are not getting better and to be honest she was very down. For the first time she said that she just wants to go home. It is very hard but her husband arrives tomorrow so I am sure that will give her some support, to be honest I am not sure that her knees are going to recover but I didn’t want to say that.

Once arrived I sorted myself and headed straight to the laundromat, Andy had sent me the address after he found it yesterday, so now I am enjoying a quick beer and tortilla while my laundry washes itself! The tortilla was still warm, lovely.

Now off for a quick wander round and to plan my sightseeing day tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it. There is a fiesta in Leon so tons of stalls and band areas being set up. I haven’t yet worked out what it is for but it looks like it will be a fun evening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *