Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 18, Leon to Hospital de Orbigo, Spain Sept 26.

23 miles, pretty flat. On the trail at 7:10 am, wandering through Leon with Jan, in search of the trail out of town. I decided to take a detour along the river. It is pitch dark and I am so glad Jan is with me, but I do wish she would stop cursing when I lose the way!!

By the time it is light, about 8:30 am, and we are out of town, she is very slow from the huge blisters all over her feet. She tells me to go on ahead, which I do, whistling off to find some coffee in a cafe in the first village.

Meet my first Leon Mastiffs, looking down an embankment at them. Three of them are guarding a large corral of cows. They look like St. Banairds, but the coloring is like a yellow labrador. Is all their loud barking at me?

Pass fields of cut grain, corn or maze fields, beans, potatos, sugar beets and apple orchards. Bamboo grows along the irrigating ditches. A small pond near a village has two ducks floating in the middle. I stop for a closer look, then realize they are wooden and tethered. It is a funny joke on me.

My hostel tonight is in the home of a local priest, 4 euros.
The architecture has changed. All the homes are now quarried stone in old villages, which are not separate home at all. The village is lined with walls that have doors and windows. But it is impossible to tell where one home ends and the other begins. Entering the priest's, the first place is an inner courtyard with the old water well, a nice flower garden. It is enclosed with a two-story window structure that overlooks the courtyard. The balcony overhangs, providing a sheltered area around the perimeter. The back of the courtyard opens into a small field, where they have built a dorimitory for pilgrims, a washing area, clothes lines, showers and toilets. There is a kitchen for us and a computer with DSL for free. This is very nice.

I do the usual, shower, wash my clothes, take a siesta. And who comes in but Wilson. We laugh and laugh that we keep running into each others. Dinner is communal in the garden area picnic tables with Italians, French, a Canadian, a Brazilian, and I am the only American.

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