The Way, Day 28


[Bridge in Leon]

Total Distance:  26.1 km*
Total Time: 8h
Total Euro:  35/person
Route: Leon to San Martin del Camino

* We just learned that there are some major discrepancies in distance covered depending on whether you go by the elevation map or the list of albergues by town.  The map suggests that we walked 24.7 km today. 

I know I don’t normally write about what happens after dinner, but this was a bit too shocking not to tell:  I got put to bed by nuns last night.  The Benedictine sisters, who apparently run the albergue (hence the separate sleeping arrangements), came in, said something in Spanish, and then returned a little while later to turn off the lights.  Crazy.

Despite the very clear message that the we would be locked in the albergue until 6 am, people still had their alarms set for quarter to five.  After comparing notes, it turns out E had the worst of it – in his room, guys were waking up that early and then packing their bags in the common sleeping area.  The women who were up that early at least had the courtesy to pack either in the hallway or the bathroom.  By the time I met E outside sometime after 5:30, there was a line waiting for the gates to open.  We overheard three young men speaking in Japanese – the first time we’ve met any Japanese people on the trip – so I worked up the courage to interrupt them and have a short conversation.  The look on their faces when I asked them in Japanese if they were from Japan was pretty priceless and the faces only got better when they asked me where I learned to speak (“but why were you on Tanegashima?”). 

We left Leon and then spent the rest of the day walking along the side of the highway.  Despite the poor sleep, we were feeling pretty good, so we walked an extra 5 km to San Martin so that we will have a shorter day tomorrow.  We stopped for lunch in Villadangos where we ran into our San Diegan friends and then carried on to San Martin. 

We arrived at the Santa Ana albergue and decided to splurge again on a private room.  I think we are both getting a little travel weary and so we’ve been spending a bit more money than we’d like.  We figure we will give ourselves a few more days of delicious meals and private rooms before cinching up the belt again.  The Santa Ana had decent facilities, but I did end up taking a cold shower.  E was lucky enough to take a hot one, so I made him do the laundry today as penance for stealing all my hot water. 

In other news, I wanted to take a moment to highlight an oddity of Leon:  Ever since we crossed into this province, we have encountered at least one toilet per day that doesn’t have a seat.  It’s not a huge deal since neither one of us really make use of the seats in public toilets anyway, but it is kind of bizarre (it’s not like it’s every toilet – it’s almost like they ran out of money for toilet seats, so they had to pick and choose which toilets got them) and seems to be unique to this region thus far.

Quiet afternoon followed by a light dinner and then of to bed.

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