One of my biggest concerns regarding this trip (besides my scare of bus bugs) has been whether I would be able to get any sleep in the albergues. I showed you a picture yesterday of my bed and strangers are lying very close to one and that makes me uncomfortable. Furthermore, you always have snorers and inconsiderate people either going to bed late or getting up ridiculously early and I am a light sleeper and also find it difficult to sleep in new places. Therefore, I have brought a total of 4 sets of ear plugs (then I can afford to lose one every now and then) and an eye cover. Yesterday I went to bed at 21.45 (lights out in most albergues by 22.00) and listened to some relaxing music. Then ear plugs, eye cover and I was gone! I wanted to be on the road by 6 o'clock so I had set the alarm (mute but vibrate. iam considerate) for 5.35. I didn't wake up one single time during the night and when I finally did and removed the ear plugs I was surprised to see (and hear!) people packing and leaving. Some had already left without me noticing anything! Excellent. I got up, prepared for the day and was out on the road by 6.03. Perfect.
By then it was still very dark so I was glad I was in a big city with street lights so I could see the yellow arrows. It was funny to experience a big city that early on a Sunday morning and it was kinda surreal walking with my big backpack while passing loud drunk people walking home from a wet night out. :-)
The walk out of Leon has a bad reputation due to walking in industrial areas and next to a busy road. Some people even advise you take a bus to La Virgen del Camino which is 7 kms from Leon. I enjoyed the walk and I only passed a small industrial area for around I km. In the outskirts I walked past this house:
Must be hard decorating!
I enjoyed watching the sun waking up and temperatures going from 15 degrees to 22 in 1,5 hours.
I forgot taking a picture as I was quite hungry by then. I had a big coffee and an omelet. Believe me when I say that coffee that early after 7 kms was very tasty!
Then I walked. And walked. And walked some more. It wasn't the most interestinglandscape and the entire day I have actually walked mostly next to a busy road.
People who know me well will know why I took this picture. ;-)
The entire day I could see mountains getting closer and closer and soon I will have to climb them. I look forward to that bit also fear it a little because Ursula sure is heavy when we ascend. Leaving Leon there were some hilly roads and when going uphill the backpack gets carried by my back instead of hips/lower back as it is now and then I could really feel that my back is my weak point!
Locals along the way take good care of us. Here some free snacks.
After around 25 kms I entered a village with several albergues and most people stopped here. However, I wasn't quite ready to stop so I decided to walk on to Hospital de Orbigo meaning another 7 kms on the road. The time was only 11.45 (so I had only walked for 5,25 hours) and figured another 1,5-2 hours would be fine. By then I had already been without water for 6 kms but was convinced I would pass a tienda (kiosk like), bar (cafe would be a more appropriate name) or a portable Fontaine. That did not happen! What did happen was the sun being very warm and there was no shadow. By the time I finally reached Hospital de Orbigo I was in dire need of water.
Therefore I could not really enjoy the sight of this bridge or stopped on the way to have a look like everybody else. I couldn't think of much else than walking with my mouth closed as not to dry out any further. Finally I found a tienda and water has never tasted so good. I quickly downed 2,5 litres and immediately felt better. Lesson learned: always but water when having the chance. Regardless. ;-)
I am glad I decided walking on since Hospital is very cosy and has a better atmosphere than the other place (forgot the name probably something del Camino!)
Medieval like buildings.
Town church. Clearly catholic!
The tienda that almost saved my life. Danes notice what it says on the right. Haha.
Despite the size of the village it actually has 3 albergues and B&B. Instead of choosing the municipal one (€5) I splurged a.little and went with a private albergue setting me back a wooping €7. But then it comes with WIFI which I have been taking advantage of big time since arriving at 13.30.
Albergue San Miguel in Hospital de Orbigo.
Shoes aren't allowed inside.
A very arty place.
With stairs! Perfect for sore legs! ;-)
The yard with laundry facilities.
Kitchen if you want to cook yourself.
"Bathroom" with stalls for toilets and showers. They are clean!
And this is where I will be sleeping tonight.
To make sure that only people who are walking the Camino stay at albergues you have to show your credential. Each place stamp it and date it so the next place can see how far you've walked.
You can also get it stamped at some bars and churches and I know that some peregrinos try to get as many stamps as possible. Once you arrive in Santiago de Compostela you can get a "diploma" if you have walked at least the last 100 kms where the credential will come in handy since that is clear proof.
That was my day. I ended up walking 32 kms and after having rested my body feels good. But let's see if it is the same tomorrow morning. ;-) I am very tired and was tempted to nap earlier on (as some do) but I am afraid it might ruin my sleep during the night.
I use an app called moves and I found out that even though I'm not roaming it still updates when online.
No wonder my feet (and lower back unfortunately! I hope that won't continue) are sore.
Tomorrow is a new day and once again I will listen to my body as to how long to walk. I am 17 kms away from Astorga who is known for its good homemade chocolate and even has a chocolate museum (and I guess Astorga is also known for its cathedral which is designed by a Gavdi-someone ;-)) so I will definitely be having chocolate tomorrow.
Please leave a comment if you feel like it. For some reason I can't reply to the comments I have received but I'm working in it. :-)