Day 24 Mansilla de Las Mulas to León 20.32 km 8hrs 20mins – “Only” 20 kilometres!

Everyone was saying it. It must be an easy day. “Only 20kms today”. Since when is a 20km walk to be preceded by the word “only”? The truth is though that 20km is
“only” after walking 25kms plus. Besides I think it is the breaking point for many people. Beyond 20 the pain and exhaustion kick in. Even my beloved feels the strain!

My feet were still not good but were a significant improvement on yesterday so we headed off with enthusiasm knowing we were going to a hotel for the night and having our first real rest day on the camino tomorrow.

As I walked in the dark I tried to analyse what went wrong yesterday. I had taken an antihistamine in the wee hours to combat itching from a few days back – hence i started the day tired. I only had one small breakfast – a slice of Tortilla Patata. When I’d stopped at the last stop I had a drink and an ice cream. That was it! I was probably lacking every vitamin possible and I’d been hot!

Whilst I was analysing I was remembering how nice my bed at home was. The pillows, the fluffy doona, the comfy mattress. Reality is that sometimes these bunks are so narrow, I roll and almost fall out. But what joy it is to be living the Camino! The hospitalario in Mansilla was magnificent. Life is good!

Today was much better. As usual Jack and his entourage had stopped at a bar for breakfast. We stopped too and had the review given as they were leaving. It was a treat to have an English breakfast. Excellent casa Blanca! When you think about it, Jack is trouble. If there is a bar enroute, we always seem to find Jack there!

The downside of the day was the detour when we were almost into Leon. The walking bridge over the freeway was closed and some wise guy directed us up and over the highest mountain they could find! By the time we were heading down the other side both the Fräulein and I needed a break but there was nowhere comfortable to stop. We stopped anyway and ate some chocolate and drank some water. My beloved continued on and rang us from a park where he had decided to sleep. It’s okay being a hobo on the Camino. Everyone does it at least once! We were Logrobos from way back!

Anyway we headed down to find him and joined him on the cool grass under the tree.

We eventually rolled into Leon after a slight disagreement over the use of Waze vs the Camino app. The Fräulein asked a local and solved the dilemma (the Camino app was right!) we headed up the street to the Monastaria Pax. A hotel owned by some nuns and named after my pop. Not really but it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling last time so I picked it again for a nights break from the albergue scene. Those cupboards and snoring champions were going to be the death of me!

We wanted a days break also. Apparently when we’d taken the hypotenuse before Sahagun we had missed the half way arch! We needed to celebrate! Unfortunately there was no vacancy at the hotel on Saturday night so we could only stay one night. We decided on the Globetrotter albergue where Speedy had stayed for our second night and I dropped in to confirm a booking.

This first night was a late one because we were going to bid farewell to the Sommelier, the Oracle and a host of others. And, more importantly we could sleep in! The police were out in force and were very well dressed I might add.

We caught up with the Day Nappers, the Young ones and the Fräulein was going to catch up with another German friend that had stayed behind. We also heard from the Choirmaster and had high hopes of a catch up on our day off.

For the record my feet were a great improvement on yesterday and we were able to finish the night doing a tapas bar crawl with the Sommelier and we eventually crawled into bed at 12.30am! The City was still rocking. It is clear why the towns are so dead during the day. These Spaniards come to life at night!

We were exhausted!

Buenes noches!

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