Day 25. León – San Martin del Camino 05-06-2018

Walked 26.6 km, 5 hours 47 minutes
Ascent: 120 meters
Descend: 110 meters
Kilometers to be traveled: 294.8

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Another new day and a bit shorter at SdC, less than 300 kilometers away, a border that was passed yesterday. If it continues like this we will also arrive in SdC. This “hotel” made for a quiet night, but the rest in my sleep was less, so are you still okay? Yes, it is still going well, also getting up at half past five like today. The 4 pilgrims are preparing for a new day that will lead us to the west.
After organizing our equipment on to the kitchen for a provisional breakfast, we share our food again, so that we have quite a bit to choose again. It has its advantages, as a group come together and start together. After breakfast and cleaning up the remains up and out again and … .. yeah, put on that poncho again, because the heavenly moisture flows down again. It’s not much, but if you have to walk in it long enough you will get pretty wet, so as a precaution …
We follow the arrows that we quickly picked up and are immediately confronted with a tourist route through Leon. We pass various sights of Leon early in the morning. But unfortunately with a drizzly curtain. The feeling of a zigzag movement through the city comes over me, there must be a more economic route through the city, one that costs less energy for the pilgrim. But this route may bring more money to the citizens of Leon.
And then you come to a point in Leon where you can deviate from the camino Frances and then make a crossing to the north via a large circumferential movement. You can deflect to walk to Oviedo, the Camino San Salvador. A route of over 120 kilometers that connects to the Camino Primitivo that runs from Valleviciosa to SdC. From Oviedo it is another 380 kilometers to SdC, I think a nice route, maybe planning for the future, 500 kilometers in 20 days, on average 25 kilometers a day ……

But we still follow the direct route to SdC, now afterwards I can say that I might have been able to take that route via Oviedo as the days I arrived early in SdC could have been here. We have to walk quite a long way through Leon, before we reach the outskirts of this city. There seems to be no end to the pilgrim, who still wants to walk through the landscapes.
Halfway through today’s hike it dries up a bit and we can slowly put the poncho aside. Occasionally a sun shows itself, so during the break we can take a seat on the terrace. During our short stop we come across 2 acquaintances, a Canadian with his daughter whom we have regularly seen on our routes for several weeks, and have also struck the same alberge a few times.
They come from the opposite direction. The daughter said that her uncle had a car accident, together with his son and 1 or 2 others. Her uncle and 1 more person died in the process. They are now on their way back to a big place to go back to Canada, a sad end to their camino. Since they cannot get an early flight arranged, they travel another 2 days on foot to save costs before traveling to the airport where their journey to Canada begins.
I wish them strength and I will think of them this evening during a mass, the father comes to me a moment to thank for the thought and support. It is dry when we follow the road. We walk along the busy road and continue to walk more or less on paved roads. Today we also come across a “church tower” with 4 stork nests, each nest equipped with a camera. Probably for the daily soap delivery.
At San Martin del Camino we have to choose, we walk another 7 kilometers, with a big chance of a rain shower or we stay here overnight at the municipal alberge. Weighing and weighing and being weighed. After being weighed and weighed up, we decide to stay the night in this village alberge, again run by the local volunteers. We also see some acquaintances again, the priest from Canada is also staying there.
The dormitory that is in use is very spartan, only old iron bunk beds. On the ground floor, all downstairs beds are occupied and the climb to the upper bed is not a nice climb. On the higher part of the dormitory, a split-level room, there are also bunk beds and no one is lying there yet, as if I can’t move into a bed there for the night. After a bit of persuasion in my best (spar) Spanish it was found to be good.
So the arrival ritual can begin, unpack the bedroom and prepare it, take a rest and then take a shower. Fortunately it is a hot shower with enough water. There were places where the hot water just ran out and the shower so cold. When you return to the dormitory it is still pretty fresh, outside it is drizzling heavily and the sun is gone, so it immediately became a few degrees colder. And the alberge has no thick walls so the cold is palpable. There is a heater in the lower part but it is for the really cold days.
We eat in the only bistro in the village, the only one at this time of the day. The usual 3-course menu for a reasonable price, with very large portions. You do not go hungry with such portions, so far not had too small portions this journey. After lunch we go to the local supermarket, especially for the pilgrims. The village is dying a slow death, the youth is leaving and only the older generation is left behind. In the local supermarket, if you can call it that, my employer could make a few remarks and issue a warning, but hey, there are some things for sale that we can use to prepare a light meal tonight and have something to eat for tomorrow morning.
We go back to the alberge in the rain and rest from the walking day, everyone is busy with his day-end activities, uploading photos, keeping a diary, blogging and vlogging, informing the home front, viewing the route of tomorrow and assessing it.

Find out possible accommodation addresses and even more of these difficult tasks. There will soon be a holy mass in the village, where the Canadian priest is also a celebrant. I tell him about the father and daughter I met earlier today. He will commemorate them in mass.
The holy mass in the local church and is mainly visited by retirees from the village, busier than the weekend mass in the parish at my home and this on a weekday. Completely in Spanish of course and our pilgrimed priest could not, unfortunately, recite prayers in Spanish. After mass, therefore, back to the alberge, where the stove in the dormitory had been lit by the volunteer on duty. The temperature had dropped considerably and outside it was no longer pleasant due to the wind. I cannot write whether the heater met all safety requirements, but at least it broke the cold. I am also happy that I could borrow 2 blankets from unoccupied beds, because otherwise it would be a very cold night with just my sheet.

Accommodation: Albergue de Peregrinos Municipal

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