Blogs from Castile & León, Spain, Europe - page 3


Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León October 11th 2018

Today the game was all about staying dry. With rain predicted, and having done the long mind numbing walk through León’s industrial area previously, I caught the bus to La Virgen del Camino. Here, the industrial wasteland gives way to more natural scenery, although you are walking on asphalt roads for most of the day. I search out the narrow gravel or grass verges on the edge of the road, as anything softer than tar provides some relief to tired feet. The new boots had their first outing today, and considering the circumstances, passed with flying colours. I had my inserts in the boots to start the day but after 2 kms I reverted to the manufacturer’s ones. I think mine caused the boots to lose half a size, and they were a little to tight. ... read more
León Cathedral
Bronze Of A  Man And His Son
León Street Scene

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León October 10th 2018

My lazy day in León started with another attempt at making the pack lighter. I threw out a small torch, some irrelevant paperwork, and donated the charger given to me by the hotel in Burgos, to this hotel in León. It might total 500gms. I turned on the TV to the news that Barcelona has major floods, and the rain is due here tomorrow. It was always just a matter of when. I decided this morning my boots were probably not going to survive the rest of the Camino, as I thought they would. The black vibram soles were worn thin on the heals, and I was now walking on the next layer of soft grey rubber. This is not made for walking, just cushioning your steps. I know you are meant to ‘walk in’ a ... read more
The Breakfast Room In The Posada Regia
Out With The Old, In With The New.
Cathedral Doors, León

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León October 9th 2018

Today was all about getting to León. I started moving when others in the Albergue made it clear that peaceful sleep was over. Early stirrings usually grow quickly, until the toilet is queued up, the shhing noise of toothbrushes is constant, and, like me, feet are being prepared for the walk ahead. It’s tempting on a short day to cut corners when getting ready, but the damage is already done by the time you’re on the side of the road, often in the dark, trying to tape wet feet (impossible), a job best done in the relative comfort of the Albergue. I set a good pace today and was on the fringe of León by 10.45am. The last hour from there, trudging through hard city streets, was more gruelling than the rest of the walk. The ... read more
The Ancient Bridge AtVillarente.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Not a good sight if your injured.

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León » Palacios de la Valduerna October 8th 2018

I was welcomed today by 0°c. I had all my warm clothes on, a vest and windbreaker, but it was not working. I started at 7.30, later than planned, because I was not walking 18kms without a coffee. That was breakfast; coffee, a pear, some broken biscuits, and some ibuprofen. I swear that drug is performance enhancing. In Spain you can buy the turbo 600gm tabs but I’m just occasionally dropping some Australian 200gm kiddies tabs. Mark, the German guy, left early but when I left an hour later, he looked pretty lonely sitting at the bus stop on the edge of town. He took off down a path that followed the road and after a kilometre, reached a dead end. If the arrows are on the road, you walk on the road. I told him ... read more
An Hour On The Track
There’s No Going Back
Lovely Soft Morning Sky

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León » Sahagun October 7th 2018

I entered the room and there was an Italian, an American, and a Norwegian woman talking on a bed. I know it sounds like the start of one of those corny jokes but this was my bedroom and these were my room mates. The Italian was having relationship problems, was borderline depressed, and had sought counseling from the others. Then I joined in. This man was pining for a woman he had been seeing for 8 months and appeared to be having a ‘ pause’ from him. The reality I learnt was, the woman was married with 2 children and a husband, and Mr Upset was in a long term relationship of 14 years; that is until she learnt of his new love. His long term partner was boring and had become like a mother and ... read more
Clever Advertising
 The First Bar.
Bell Tower At San Nicholas

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Palencia October 6th 2018

Today was the first unserviced long walk since I began. There was a small food outlet called the Oasis, but I just put the 50+ on my face, took off my vest, put on a hat, and kept walking. There were many people on the paths and I wanted to be sure of a bed in the Albergue Jacque de Mornay. I’ve stayed before and it’s preferable to the one you see as you enter the village. Optus kindly woke me at 2.15 am with a vibrating message to tell me I had sent a message. I thought it was my alarm and jumped out of bed to start the day. Thanks Optus. Yesterday I had a long hot bath, slept with no earplugs, and organised myself this morning with the casual abandon of a man ... read more
Dawn Looking Back To Carrión
The Meseta

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Salamanca October 6th 2018

If Carlsburg made campsites they would shied a mile away from this one. Gabby is parked on the stinkiest campsite we have ever been on. The type of campsite where you start to smell under your armpits, you check the toilet and the drains on Gabby . You wonder if it is the town drains or the river nearby. There wasn't a lot of choice in this area and campsites were few and far between. Everyone it seems had ended up on the worse campsite for miles around. So how did Gabby end up there? We started out driving along some of the worse roads we have ventured on. We have passed fields full of pigs and cows. The landscape has changed considerably now that we have moved regions. We were heading for the motorhome parking ... read more
Cuidad Rodrigo the church
around the town
Cuidad Rodrigo - typical spanish buildings

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Palencia » Carrion de los Condes October 5th 2018

Today is the last easy day before 3 solid days on the Meseta, concluding in an 18km walk into León. I’m in the Hostel Santiago, in the same room as 2 years ago, only alone. It’s bliss. I even have a bath. I walked out of the albergue today at 6.50, followed by 2 Taiwanese girls who intended on going 34kms. Goodbye and good luck. The prediction is for a hot day and the last 17 kms will have no villages and no shade. My 17kms started with an extended breakfast at a bar I knew opened at 6.30. The initially grumpy owner soon cheered up, and when he learnt I am Australian, went out the back to show me his toy koala and Australian coaster map. Very nice. He was chatty, gave me a gift ... read more
An Early Coffee And A Little Gift
My New Best Friend
Leaving Población Behind.

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Fromista October 4th 2018

It gives me the shivers walking into Población. Four years ago, Sue Tim and I were entering the village, when Sue tripped on a raised concrete road and landed on her head with the full weight of her pack behind it. I recognise the exact spot, because there is still a dent in the road. It was a problem that was eventually resolved, but clearly showed how your fortunes can change in an instant. I’ve experienced numerous examples of that since and realise that we can’t control everything and sometimes things go wrong, through no fault of your own. I’ve learnt it not what happens in life that matters, but how you react to it. Mindfulness 101. Last night was pleasantly quiet in the albergue , and after breakfast l left the village with a torchless ... read more
San Anton
Albergue Rosario, Castrojeriz
Dinner In Rosario

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Ponferrada October 3rd 2018

We are sleeping in later this holiday. There is no rush to get off to swim or to go to work. We can set the alarm, switch it off and ignore it. There is no overriding need to be anywhere. It is more a holiday of tootling about from place to place with no particular place to be. We can change plans by the day, by the hour and even by the minute. We dont worry if we miss things. It is not the end of the world. We can take our time . Astorga our destination today is just two hours away and we should be there for lunchtime . In time for a menu del dia - perhaps the first paella of the trip. Why Astorga? We are heading to see a different type ... read more
Another closed church
The castle
Sion got excited when he spied this

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