Friday, October 14, 2022

 Day 23 Mansilla de las Mulas  to León, Spain October 14, 2022

What a shitty sleep! There were far too many beds in the room and even though people do their best, it’s not good enough. Oh well, we were on the road by eight anyway.  The sun is getting up later and later so it was still kind of dark and cold.  I could see my breath for a long time.  Today’s plan was to go to Leon which was 18.8 km away –

My intention for the day was just to enjoy our last day together. Things were going well until my right knee started to get sore but it seemed it wasn’t really my knee but the muscle connecting it up to my hip. I stopped often to stretch my hip but it did not help my knee. It got so bad that I could do nothing more than slowly shuffle and I still had many kilometres to go. Marianne WhatsApped me and waited for me to catch up. I shuffled slowly into León and then a mile from the hostal I couldn’t take another step so got in a cab. Coming up the stairs was hard but as soon as I took off my backpack, the pain was gone! There’s a massage therapist in the building but he was booked for the day and of course tomorrow is Saturday. He suggested I see the physiotherapist who is just around the corner so in great pain I shuffled there. Robert wasn’t there but the receptionist called him and he said he would see me at 8:30 tonight. 8:30? Can you imagine seeing a physiotherapist in North Battleford at 8:30 on a Friday night?  On the way home I bought some ibuprofen,  took it and in no time I was pain-free!  Instead of carrying on tomorrow I am staying two nights and depending what the physiotherapist says, I plan to ship my bag from town to town for a few days. I do not want my camino to be over this way and if it takes me longer to get to Santiago, then that is OK too.

Along the way, interesting seed pods-

The first starting block toilet I’ve seen in Spain.  No, I didn’t use it as I do enough squatting in the bush-

From where I came-

Gas is very expensive-

Marianne and Pelegríno Pedro-

My favourite thing-

Finally in León-

I visited the cathedral which is magnificent-

Construction started about 1253 and took only 50 years. It is in Gothic style and by using ribs across the arches they discovered the ceiling wouldn’t collapse and they could build higher than ever-

It has some of the best stained glass in the world.  There are 1800 square meters of glass in the building.  The way people lived at the time is depicted in the scenes in the glass and there are also fruits and vegetables –

The church is cut in half by a triomphal arch-

The decoration on it is nice-

 The choir and organ are between it-

and the main altar-

There are numerous side altars-

Mary the pregnant virgin-

After leaving the cathedral, I wandered.  León is a beautiful city-

With a drink you get a free tapas-

The Covent Garden Hostal is gorgeous-

And we are in a 6 person room-

From our balcony we look at Gaudi’s Les Bottines where I will go tomorrow.  It’s a museum-

We ended up at Plaza Mayor for a drink and then all of a sudden there was a whole crowd of us.  It was an Orisson reunion-

Michèle from Sherbrooke, David and Roxanne- Atlanta, Gary- Iowa, Bernadette-Switzerland, Jane- Iowa, 
Marijanne, me and Helle.

Plaza Mayor was originally constructed in 1672 but other buildings were added in 1677. It was originally called the Plaza Pan or Bread Square because it was home to many bakeries.  It was very expensive so we went exploring the Barrio Húmedo which is known for tapas.  The group ended up at a really good tapas place but I had my Physio appointment at 8:30. For an hour and 20 minutes I was massaged, electrified, taped and then shown exercises. It cost €40! I couldn’t believe it. Robert suggested I not use my walking poles because they change my gait. He told me to drink 4 to 5 L of water every day and to stop every hour to drink and do the exercises.  I left feeling so much better, believing that I will be able to finish this long trek.

I do not believe in coincidences but how to explain that I just happened to get an 8:30 pm physio appointment on a Friday night and get fixed up to be able to continue this adventure?  The camino will provide!

Looking forward to discovering more of León tomorrow as well as eating some good tapas!

P.S.  Our last night together-

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