Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 45: And into Leon!

Dscn3093bSeptember 25: As was my habit, I was the last person in my room to leave the hostel. I had a relatively short walk into Leon today, largely by design so I’d have time to explore Leon all afternoon. But it was an utterly miserable road walk nearly the entire distance. I have absolutely nothing good to say about this day of walking, and it was really the only day between Burgos and Leon that I really did not like. Neither of my guidebooks had any recommended alternative options to get away from the busy roads, and it wasn’t really surprising since Leon is a fairly substantial city with a thick cluster of suburbs. It’s like trying to navigate your way through Seattle on foot with the expectation of getting away from all the roads. It’s just not going to happen—the roads are everywhere!

At least the rain, fortunately, held off—but it looked like it would start at any second which raised my anxiety. I could deal with the rail if I had to, but I didn’t like it. In a sense, had it just poured rain, I’d have complained bitterly and pushed on. The teasing nature of the clouds just raised my anxiety, though. Would I make it into Leon before the rain started? The question was very much in doubt, and that doubt had me walking at a faster pace than normal, worrying if I’d make it into town or not.

I checked into the Fernando Hotel, which I made a reservation for the night before so I wouldn’t have to worry about searching for a hotel with an available room. And by searching for it online the night before, I could compare prices and locations and reviews ahead of time. And knew that this hotel would have wi-fi access right in my room.

The room was a gorgeous little place too, including a neat little mural on the wall.

By the time I emptied my pack, washed my clothes, and headed back out to explore the city, the rain had started up again. I saw Charles, the priest from New Zealand, through the windows of a restaurant and went inside and joined him, ordering a hamburger for lunch. The waitress asked if I wanted water or beer.

“I’ll have a Coke,” I replied.

“That’s not included with the hamburger,” she told me. Seriously? Beer was included with a burger, but not a Coke? Now that’s screwed up! I said I’d be willing to pay extra for the Coke—and got a water as well. =)

Charles eventually left, and I started reading my book and people watching between chapters for lack of anything better to do when I thought I saw someone who could have been Karolina pass by the window. It was the briefest of glances, but if it was her, I really wanted to catch up with her. I hurried to pay my bill and went out to the cathedral in the direction I thought I saw her walking. If it was her I saw, however, I never found her again. And if it wasn’t her I saw, I never had any chance of finding her either. Oh, well.

Back at the hotel, I checked the upcoming weather forecast and it looked like the rain would continue throughout the next day, so I booked another hotel room ahead. I wouldn’t have minded staying in the municipal alburgue the next night, but given the rain, I didn’t want to show up there and find out the last bed was already taken given my propensity for starting late in the morning. I was already planning a particularly long day’s walk—I didn’t want to end up making it any longer than necessary.

Then I called it a night.

Sunrise—but the colorful clouds also looked like rain.

Chestnuts growing on trees along the trail.

An utterly awful walk into Burgos. This road we followed
was incredibly busy with traffic!

There’s a pilgrim out there, walking around with
one right glove….

Art along the trail….

Crossing a bridge over a large river—the River Porma.

The bridge crossing became a little hairy at the end when we
ran out of sidewalk! I waited here until there was a break
in the traffic before I scrambled over to the sidewalk on the
right at the end of the bridge!

Passed a store selling all these statues. Naked women are in this photo!!! =)

Here the trail follows between a busy road and a frontage road
with parking. Like I said, a miserable, ugly section of trail today!

At least we finally got off the actual road itself again, but
the noise of traffic was still loud.

A pedestrian bridge across the busy highway.

Trail markers while headed into Leon.

A pretty bridge on my way into Leon.

The trail rounds a roundabout….

Then rounds another one….

Through the ancient walled city….

And past places of worship.

The streets of Leon.

The mural on the wall of my hotel room. =)

A gentleman solving a crossword puzzle. =)

A man with his wayward child admiring the cathedral of Leon.

1 comment:

Anne Bonny said...

Gorgeous city!

How do you wash your clothes in a hotel room?