Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Limping Into León


Final thoughts on a Tuesday night in Mansilla de las Mulas, population 1,800. . .


Mansilla de las Mulas has a great brass band dressed in orange shirts if you play a brass instrument or blue shirts if you are a precussionist. They were loud and marching all over town stopping wherever they felt like seranading a restaurant crowd. They were great fun indeed.

We met a man in the albergue who is walking the Camino for the SIXTH time!

No way, José!!!

In the highly unlikely event that I ever do decide to do another stroll through the countryside, it will definitely be on some other trail. I would not want a repeat, especially of the Meseta.

Camino pain is everywhere and, as someone noted, it moves to a different part of your body every morning.

Lots of new people in town tonight as a Camino that starts in Madrid joined us in Mansilla de las Mulas today also headed to Santiago de Compostela.

I'm on a streak, two straight days without entering a church.

STAGE 20
Mansilla de las Mulas to León
18.6 km/11.6 miles
Time Walked, 4:06

Total Distance Walked, 472.0 km/293.3 miles
Total Time Walked, 115:17
20 Nights in Albergues, 110 Euros

Distance to Santiago de Compostela
326.6 km/202.9 miles

Since today was a short Stage, I slept in a bit and didn't exit the albergue until 7:10 a.m. My left leg hurt less today than yesterday but I still had a slight limp. I bought some anti-inflamatory pills at a farmacia in León, we'll see.

León, population 130,000, is a vibrant city full of color, history and wonderful aromas.

We're staying at a Benedictine convent for nuns. Men and women in different rooms and married couples are in a third dormitory. The doors close at 9:30 p.m. which is OK by me, I want to rest my leg a bit.

Streak over, the León Cathedral is an awe inspiring Gothic structure built in the 13th century. Inside it is much smaller than the Burgos Cathedral but has lots of excellent stained glass windows.

After touring the Cathedral, it was time for a Cafe con Leche, chorizo bocadillo and an orange Fanta, life is oh so good!

Today on the road I thought a lot about my beloved Huskies who play at home this Saturday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. In 1967, these two schools opened the season at Husky Stadium. It was the only time I ever got to suit out for a game in my UW "career." I remember that is was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest and the rush as we came out of the tunnel and the crowd roared. We lost that game 17-7 and no, there was no need for the Huskies' third string center to enter the fray. For me it was special, I still have the program from that game at home.

I love the U. of W.!

At the farmacia today I was finally able to weigh in. I tipped the Toledos at 121.0 kilos. The last time I weighed myself was at LAX on March 3rd when I was first leaving for Sweden. I got on the baggage scale and topped out at 140.2 kilos. Now I'm still big enough to be on the endangered species list come Thanksgiving time but somehow I have lost almost 20 kilos, about 44 lbs. I wonder how much of that came in the last 20 days?

After lunch, I went to the Basilica de San Isidoro, a nice church where 23 monarchs of León are buried. My final stop was at the Casa Botines built in 1891 by Antonio Gaudi, my favorite Catalonian architect. For Gaudi, it was somewhat sedate.

Jason Johnson insists that I eat at El Llar Taberna Leonesa on Plaza San Martín near our albergue. I've scouted it out and it looks good, the Plato de Digustacion it is!

Vamos Bien!


BUEN CAMINO!!!

1 comment:

Michael Contreras said...

I think about you every night= Your morning when you begin your weee stretch of the legs. Keep a movin' skinny.