Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon – 18 Kms, 29,870 steps
I had a pretty good sleep, although it was cold outside and the pension manager didn’t seem to think that meant that the heat should be turned on inside. It’s the old “it’s not November, we don’t turn on the heat until November” philosophy that ignores the realities of the temperature right now. I had a comforter and was warm enough in bed; but, boy, that marble floor in the bathroom was cold.
It was, in fact, around 39 F again at dawn and I could see my breath in the air. I layered up and was quite comfortable as I joined a gaggle of other pilgrims and exited Mansilla.
I walked along the senda beside the highway for several hours, then went through the small towns of Puente Villarente and Arcahueja before finally reaching the outskirts of Leon, after five total hours of walking.
Despite warnings in the guidebook about it, I found the Camino route through urban Leon to be exceedingly well marked, with brass pavement shells and plenty of the popular yellow arrows.
I found my nice hotel and checked in around 1:00 PM. My room is quite nice and has a big bathtub! A half-hour soak in a hot tub this afternoon really did wonders for my legs and feet. I may do it again tomorrow.
The Camino is just a few blocks away and, after six blocks, it empties into the plaza right in front of the Cathedral. Here’s a view up that street:
The last time I was on this street, in 2019, it was wall-to-wall people watching the Pendones parade. This was the hours-long parading of flags by regional groups and it was something to see (see my Camino 2019 blog for the details of this event). The street was filled with the parade and the sidewalks were jammed with people. The difference now is so striking that it took me a while to recognize where I was.
Similarly, the plaza in front of the Cathedral, which was the destination of all the pendones flags last time and filled with people, was wide-open today. It was much nicer to be there today!
As you can see in these pictures, the weather is gorgeous but a little cool. I enjoyed it by sitting outside for lunch, on the Camino route for maximum people-watching, and had a really nice meal:
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Tomorrow is a Rest Day here! Yay! I plan to do some errands to get preprared for the last few weeks of my Camino, such as buying a replacement pair of socks, etc. I would like to print my absentee voting ballot and send it in while I’m here but that may be a challenge – the hotel doesn’t have a “Business Center” so I don’t have access to a computer and printer. My iPhone doesn’t have a USB connector, which might simplify things. So, I’ll need to do some research. Do “Internet Cafes” still exist? Stay tuned and see you tomorrow.