May 12th, 2018. Leon to Villar de Mazarife, Spain. Camino de Santiago.
Confession time: I did not like León.
For the first time on my whole Camino trail, I did not feel safe.
It was the vibe. It felt like a dirty city. It did not hold the charm other cities have held, thus far. It may have been the guy who approached me in a truly sleazy way. My impressions with Leon, apart from that, was seeing a guy pee against a church wall, a lot of ugly graffiti and I didn’t get the ‘pilgrim welcome’ vibe that I’ve felt everywhere else.
As sad as I was to leave the jetted bathtub in my hotel, I’m glad to be out if the city.
Today was a pretty brutal day.
First, it was 6km of city walking, then 15km of bitterly cold headwind. The wind blew me off the path more than once. I stopped for a rest more than I normally would, just to get some relief from the wind.
But it was a day of sorting through some past issues as I swore nastily out loud at Mother Nature. Maybe it was a reflection of how I was feeling? Could be.
The scenery has definitely changed. I walked over a high plain today before descending a little into sheep and wheat country, with the background of snow-capped mountains to my right. I am sure I would have appreciated it more had it not been so cold and windy!!
I was reminded that, like camping, I can take rain but I hate the wind. It unravels me. When I look back to the start of the day, I was eager to get going. Very eager.
I felt strong when I left Leon. Now, I feel completely beaten up.
Reality sucks (although I did have a couple tell me today that I keep a great pace which made me laugh considering my usual turtle pace.)
In the meantime, I’m being amused by the two in the room next door due to very thin walls in the Albergue. I have a private room but the walls are super thin. The two pilgrims are having a very strange conversation… Or at least what seems to be a kinky type of verbal foreplay. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up: She loves olives and he “loves how she really gets into her food, like, in a big way.” It continued on… I learned a lot about them both. I was tempted to make sex noises after a while, just to see what they would do. It’s like a radio comedy show happening on the other side of the wall.
Tomorrow I am continuing on, one step at a time, but with one more toenail down. It’s my daughter’s birthday today. I thought of sending her a picture of the toenail with a “Happy Birthday” but that would just be … weird. Ah the joys (and losing the toenail doesn’t hurt.)