Spain
Santovenia de la Valdoncina

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    • Day 20

      Take the long way…

      August 19, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      After the first 7 km today pilgrims need to decide between 2 variants: route A is 3.4 km shorter but constantly next to the highway! Route B is nicer but longer! Let’s see! A friend sent me „It’s Friday again“ and I also listened to „You take me up“ from
      Scotch- love it! Today I walk alone- just saw a Portuguese guy that I met yesterday evening! He recommended my next stop in 20 km! I changed shoes because of the blister (Blase) and so far it works! I met Germans on the Camino who always complain! I learned here that you need to accept certain situations and do something with it (mach was draus)! Or you simply change it! But staying in a given situation and not changing anything but complaining is NOT a healthy option!
      Ps: if you have a song you recommend for walking, please send it!
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    • Day 27

      Day 28. Vilar de Mazerife

      May 26, 2023 in Spain

      Awoke at 6:00 am after a restless night to loud singing and carousing that sounded close to our window. Cathy, who had not slept well, said it had gone on all night. I guess I must have gotten more sleep than she did because I hadn’t heard a thing to that point.
      We went to 8:00 am breakfast where we met the same people who were there yesterday: three Canadians and a British couple. The camaraderie we had created yesterday just continued from where it had left off. In fact, one of the ladies, Laurel, who has worked at Plumber’s Lodge , out on the east arm of Great Slave Lake, told us the receptionist complained about noise made by loud “Americans “ at yesterday’s breakfast.
      It took us over an hour to get out of Leon encountering many parents walking their children to school. We had to pay close attention to follow the Camino signs - yellow arrows and shells - competing with the many other signs in a busy city. There was a fork in the path allowing us to continue following a direct route along the highway, but we opted for the more scenic, and longer, rural route next to the open scrubland paramo. Once we got past Virgen de Camino, a Leon suburb I assume, there were no facilities open right up to Mazarife. Despite being her first day, Cathy held up well on this 21 km walk.
      On today’s walk, we reconnected with Jim, from California/Mexico who was recovering from having had imbibed too much the night before. His pace was down to a crawl, but Raymond, from Germany, tagged along to keep him company. We also met Jack, from Boston, on the Camino without his wife, because “ she’s not cut out for this.” He had hoped to be further than this, but was laid up with the flu for over a week, staying in hotels rather than auberges. He relented into taking a bus from Burgos to Leon. Jack shared with us that he “ suffers from knowing what others should be doing.” I guess we all suffer from that to varying degrees.
      Overall, though a great start for Cathy, but it doesn’t get any easier; tomorrow’s 31 km challenge will be another test.
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    • Day 21

      Another variant

      August 12, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      There are about 50k between León and Astorga, and we believe Astorga will be worth spending a night at, so we are planning our walking accordingly.
      The first decision was to take the variant route, via Villar de Mazarife. It's only 3k longer, and much more quiet and enjoyable than the route on the side of the road.
      We saw another half a dozen or so pilgrims on this route, which is a good number (small enough to be quiet, but not deserted, and providing opportunity to talk with other people). There was a French guy, a Korean girl, a German guy and 3 Americans, plus one or two others whose origin I don't know.
      I walked part of the way with JinJu (Korean) and Jan walked with the German guy.
      Our destination for today was Villar de Mazarife, a 22k walk.
      The first couple of hours we walked in urban areas, and then we could see that the meseta is giving way to a new landscape, with some ups and downs, some trees, and some grass for animals to graze on.
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    • Day 25

      Leon to Villar de Mazarife

      April 16 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      I'm in love with it all again. I had three breakfasts, that probably helped - a free coffee and cereal at the hostel, a pastry and an empanada from the supermarket, then a bit of french toast as a tapas with a coffee.

      It's an interesting trend emerging that if I plot all the valleys of my mood, they're always in cities - Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos, Leon. I have theories but I need to chew on them longer.

      A grubby and uninspiring 10km to leave Leon but then the path split and you could take the southern, slightly longer but more rural route or the northern one which follows the highway. They coalesce in about 45km so unless you're up for an extremely long day, whatever you choose informs where you stay tonight, or vice versa.

      I obviously went southern, and the landscape change was instantaneous compared to the Meseta (which some would argue I'm still in for another day but eh). It was beautiful in a new and different way.

      I stepped off the dirt road for a tractor to pass and he stopped, opened the door and asked me something. I apologised I didn't speak Spanish very well, at which he, continuing in Spanish, said nonsense yes you do, and then I miraculously did sort of understand what he repeated. He was telling me, I think, that if I wanted he could give me a lift to the town 10km away.

      I explained that no as a pilgrim sort of the whole point was to walk. As he was driving off I ruefully wondered if he'd have let me sit in the scoopy attachment bit on the back and thought about waving him down. Then I remembered one probably shouldn't get into vehicles with strange men in the middle of nowhere, even if you could outrun both of them if you need.

      About an hour later he passed me coming back the other way, tooted the horn and gave me a big wave. I bet he WOULD have let me sit in the scoopy bit and not murdered me even a little bit. What a waste.

      Continuing the theme, I've certainly felt safer in an albergue, but I'm sure it'll be fine, I'm on a top bunk and I do think I'll have notice if anything goes sideways. If needs be, tell Interpol it's the Jesus one, first on the left as you come into town.
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    • Day 32

      Poeh poehhh

      August 8, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

      Ik ben kapotttt! De camping die ik in gedachten had is nog 30km verder. Maar ik ga stiekem even kijken naar iets wat dichterbij. Elk ieniemini plekje schaduw dat ik kan vinden wordt benut. Zo zat ik net voor iemands huis. Ik geloof dat ik er niet al te fraai uitzag want ze kwamen naar buiten gesneld met water, fruit en brood. Ondanks dat ik geen woord begreep van wat ze zeiden, was het natuurlijk suuuper lief 🤗Read more

    • Day 32

      Cute little Coffee Pause

      June 28, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

      Domus Oncinae is an unexpected gem. We had a delightful stop with friendly people (se habla Ingles). I almost want to stay.... But we have only done 12km- less than 1/2 of our goal for the day.

      We are taking the "alternate" route after León which adds about 4km to the day, but so far has been relaxing and pretty. We are seeing raptors and hearing songbirds instead of hiking alongside a major highway with the melody of trucks whizzing by.Read more

    • Day 27

      Oncina de la Valdoncina

      April 10 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Most of today was walking through industrial areas and places of lower cost housing.

      I spent a few hours in León for lunch and the mid-day mass at the Cathedral. I also got a new sleeping bag (ultralight, down) and another pair of socks. It was good to catch up with Christian from Australia who went shopping with me.

      The Albergue El Pajar de Oncina was excellent. We had a wonderful community dinner and warm rooms for the night.

      [Day 23, 25 km walked, 481 km from St Jean Pied-de-Port, 303 km to Santiago.]
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    • Day 18

      Oncina de la Valdoncina

      May 10, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Ich rast gleich aus!! 🤪😂😂

      Heute bin ich schon wieder 35,7 km gestöckelt und wollte das gar nicht. Zudem waren es heute auch noch über 30°C 🥵

      Zudem gibt es zwei neue Reisebegleitungen hier. Eine offizielle (Willkommen Dr. Jette 🤭), und eine heimliche (Willkommen Sonnenschein Saskia 😉☀️).

      Und jetzt mal von Anfang. Ich wurde von den fünf Frauen in ruhe gelassen 😂😂😂. Leider war der Kaffeeautomat im Hostel defekt aber es gab nen anderen Automaten mit nem Schokokeks und nem O-Saft und ne Cola als Kaffeeersatz.

      Ich wurde von einem wunderschönen feurigen Sonnenaufgang überrascht und ab da gings mir gut. Volle Stöckel-Kraft voraus 🥳🥳🥳 und ging nach den gestrigen 40km besser als gedacht.

      Im nächsten Ort gab es doch tatsächlich gleich nen Tabakladen und ich hab allen Tabak zum selbstdrehen aufgekauft, er hatte zumindest noch fünf Päckchen 😂😂😂. Danach nen Kaffee, Geld abheben und weiter.

      Gegen eins war ich in Leon. Bis ins Zentrum war es ne Ecke aber im Zentrum wurde man mit vielen kleinen Gässchens belohnt, mit noch mehr Kaffee und sogar einen Schreibwarenladen hab ich endlich gefunden. Bleiben wollte ich nicht, aber hätt ich gewusst dass ich dann erst wieder nach über 11 km und vor allem nur bergauf erst die nächste Herberge finde, wäre ich lieber geblieben.

      Irgendwann wollte ich mich schon wieder aufregen und habs dann aber gelassen genommen, denn man kann ja eh nichts ändern.

      Jetzt bin ich auf dem alternativ Weg des Caminos. Der andere führt nur an Autobahn entlang und mein entdeckter quer durch die Natur 🥳🥳🥳🥳 Glückspilz 😊

      Da wo ich jetzt gelandet bin gab es leider kein freies Bett mehr, aber da ich wohl so fertig aussah und lieb geguckt habe, darf ich heute trotzdem da bleiben und entweder in der Hängematte oder auf nem Sofa im Aufenthaltsraum schlummern. Duschen konnt ich auch schon und es gibt ne Waschmaschine juhu Stinkesocken ade 🥳🥳🥳🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭
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    • Day 23

      Leon to Oncina de la Valdocina

      May 18, 2023 in Spain

      Short 8 mile day so we could get used to walking again. We stopped in a very small town with 1 place for food and 2 albergues. The people here are so nice!

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    Santovenia de la Valdoncina

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