Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Camino de Santiago Wednesday 20th May: Day 8

Reliegos - Hospital de Orbigo
60.1km, total time on the way 10:15hrs

Didn't want to get up this morning - legs wanted more rest. However, I was out at 06:10 but then managed to walk round Reliegos a couple times before finding the way out!! Breakfast was a bocadillos bought from the shop last night. 

I made good time to Mansilla de los Mulas then towards Leon, mainly alongside busy roads. Not the most scenic part of the Camino but part of the Camino nonetheless. Some choose to miss out this bit and catch a bus to Leon. 

I was really struggling to keep warm despite several layers - a sure sign of body breaking down after the repeated insults to it and inadequate recovery. I have been eating virtually  and often eating something in the night. Fuel, as ever, vitally important.
Just before Leon I met a fair dinkum Aussie from Bathurst. Then I stopped for a coffee and a croissant but it didn't really do the trick. 

The old part of Leon was lovely - narrow streets, old building and lots to look at. Bought 2 more pastries and a spare pair of socks having completely worn through a pair yesterday. 
From the outside Leon cathedral was no match for Burgos but inside it was a different story. Much less ornate, the building does the talking with stained glass windows everywhere. There was Gregorian chant playing in the background and it felt very peaceful. I was particularly moved by one fresco/carving and I stood transfixed for 10 minutes. The cloisters were worth visiting too. 

I wandered on through Leon and visited the San Isodoro church. Outside were 2 'beggars'. On the way out I passed them, paused, then returned to give them both some change. One of them asked me if I wanted a sello/stamp. He led me back into the church and knocked on the vestry door. Inside were (I presume) the priest and one of the sisters. She stamped my credencial and told that they pray for peregrinos every evening and that tonight she would pray for me. A very special stamp. 

Passed the Parador - the posh hotel from the film "The Way".

Then it was out through the suburbs on the other side of Leon. At La Virgen del Camino, I took the scenic route to Villar de Majorife. I made good time over the 'Paramo', through a few small villages, seemingly stuck in time. 

Walked with Karen from New York for a while. She was an interesting lady who'd started running at the age of 63....but boy could she talk.  Even I had a problem getting a word in edgeways!

At Chozas de Abago I had a very fine chorizo and cheese bocadillos. Lovely crusty bread and the tastiest chorizo I've ever had. 

Pretty much ran the next 10km along straight, flat road, but then the last few km were tough work. 

I crossed the beautiful 13th century bridge into Hospital de Orbigo and found Albergue San Miquel. A lovely, peaceful albergue run by a Venezuelan couple. The husband was very interested in my Hokas!! Relaxing communal area downstairs with a log burner!! Nice wide bunks.
Great meal at Cafeteria Lis Angeles - spaghetti carbonara, and very tasty chicken and chips. 

Several people have told me that I am an inspiration as I run past them. I always make a point of stopping because I am not. I will be home and dry, done and dusted, in my own bed and they will still be walking. People who walk this day after day for 5 weeks are an inspiration. 

Phrase of the day: 
Lyrics to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers - couldn't get them out of my head all day!

Comment of the day:
American lady as I passed: "Are you the doctor from England who's running the Camino?"
Apparently my fame goes ahead of me!!

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