I slowly packed and readied myself by 9 to depart the Meson El CID. I covered the pack and poles with the rain over for bus transport and wore my jacket. It wasn’t particularly cold but the streets had been washed by god or man overnight.
I sat in the foyer after checking out to use the wifi and strolled down to the bus station getting there an hour before schedule.
A tortilla and coffee from Gabriela and I waited patiently for bus number 35.
It turned up a few minutes before departure but then the driver needed a break so it was another half hour before we left. There were a few familiar faces but not to talk to.
The bus was out on the highway fairly smartly and we were soon on country roads doing the milk run.
A Spaniard had my seat number so I sat next to him for the first hour. Then the chatterboxes across the aisle got off so I jumped across giving him the thumbs up.
At Sahagún, Marie-Lynne who I had last seen in Pamplona got on and gave me a big Hi!
I later discovered that there was only one seat available and husband Max was coming tomorrow but she was travelling with friends.
Once at León, we had a brief catch-up and then I walked through town to the cathedral. The cathedral tour didn’t start till 4. I had a brief chat with a lady tourist who came from very south of Argentina. I sait it must be miry drip down there and she made a sign like it was three feet deep in snow.
I found a restaurant and had some asparagus salad which was actually just asparagus with a bit if tomato and a beer.
The cathedral was not as ornate as Burgos but featured spectacular stained glass windows probably even more so had it been morning instead of evening. I took lots if photos and during the tour one of the other pilgrims recognised me but I’m not sure from where. A tall thin white haired Frenchman I think.
Afterwards I proceed to the convent Alburgue and chanced upon an American couple looking in the wrong direction for the same destination.
I set them right, headed off and then bumped into them again just before getting there. The convent is full but they direct me to the St Francis of Assisi Alburgue and I’m in room 211 for 10 euro.
I’m alone but not for long. Song from South Korea arrives in a flurry having covered 45 k today and 50 k yesterday. It’s like he’s my best friend and we hit it off straight away. He has a shower and straight after needs a beer so I don my jacket and we cruise up to the cathedral area. There’s a lady sitting at a table and he engages her in conversation and in no time we are sitting with Ellen from Sweden and ordering our meal. She smokes Camels and asks if it’s ok to smoke. I say “It’s your table”.
Well what an interesting evening.
The conversation ranges over racial politics, economics population socialism drugs migration and just about anything and in the process we have demolished 2 bottles of red and Beers to boot.
Eventually we move inside just as a medieval fare goes trumpeting past. I don’t know what this shivering thing is but at the end if the day it always hits me and Song is starting to turn blue.
We move inside and the waitress shut the doors so it’s not so cold.
About 8.30 Ellen guides us down to the market area where there are lots of stalls and then departs.
Song and I cruise through the crowd a bit then a glance tells me it’s time to head back to the dorm. Thanks to app “Ulmon” I’m able to navigate the backstreets and we are home in no time.
What a delightful day it has turned out to be when I was expecting a lonely day of cathedral watching.
Thank you Song!
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