Today we bused to Leon. It was about a 2 hour bus ride, and the landscape was very similar the whole way. This section is part of the meseta.
I could see why this was the largest area suggested to bus if strapped for time. We could see the trail with pilgrims every so often, and other times we’d go for miles with it not being in sight at all.
As we pulled into the bus stop in Leon, Karis spotted something wonderful across the river. Once we were off the bus, had collected our bags and checked the map, we headed across the bridge to.. McDonald’s! We rarely ever go to McDonald’s in Canada, but here it was such a treat. Karis was hoping for a Santa Fe wrap, but had to settle for a chicken, bacon ranch wrap instead. She was a very happy girl!
We discovered that we were on the exit side of the town and had to follow the arrows back in reverse to find accommodation. We booked into an albergue (which I feel a little bad about considering we bussed), but it isn’t the busiest time of year and the hospilatera didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
We wandered around the old downtown area looking for a cafe to sit and people watch. We were also looking for wifi! The albergue we are in tonight doesn’t have it, so this will have to be posted to the blog tomorrow night.
We found a cute cafe with a helpful waitress who gave us complimentary nuts, candy, pickles and more of the famous potato and egg pie that is absolutely everywhere here. It was good for the first week… But we’ve so had enough!
What we have seen of Leon is nice, but not as lively as Burgos it seems. However, at the moment, there are many people laughing and drinking under the umbrellas of a patio outside our albergue window. There is a rainstorm happening and thunder can be heard in the distance.
We’ve turned in early tonight, with a bit more bussing to come in the morning, and walking tomorrow afternoon. We hope to reach the iron cross in a couple of days and want to walk that section. (Even though it’s up another mountain!!) Karis was homesick tonight, so it’s a good night to cuddle. I’ve given up my bed to another pilgrim and will sleep on the lower bunk with her.
After I finished writing this blog post, we could hear the rain subside (even though the thunder and lightning did not) and we decided to get up and go for a walk. The streets were lively and we decided to find a cafe and have a hot chocolate (aka: cola cao)
Many bars were open. I don’t know how they can all stay in business as they line the streets one after the other. While looking for somewhere who actually served hot chocolate at night and not just alcohol, I saw someone I recognized and I was hoping that we’d see on our walk! Patrick and Justin from the “I’ll push you” website/Facebook page. They have been friends since they were babies, and Justin has a degenerative muscular disease that has taken away his ability to walk. To raise awareness for this cause, and to show that anything is possible, Patrick is PUSHING Justin across Spain on the camino. They are also filming a documentary as they go.
I approached the two of them to ask for a picture. They were very kind and asked us many questions. They are resting in Leon until Wednesday when they will begin again. Good luck to them!! Whenever things have gotten tough for us we keep saying, at least we aren’t pushing someone in a wheelchair…
After finding a cafe with hot chocolate, and watching the lightning in awe, we settled back in our albergue for the night. All through the night we could hear people partying in the streets. We had no idea how big the party was until the next morning…