We got started at 7:05 on the morning of October 11th (Sunday). As predicted, there was some rain, and also as predicted, it wasn’t bad. Just dead flat walking all day; this is easy, but it can also be difficult due to the pure repetitive work by just the same muscles all the time.
We hiked about 15 miles to the town of Reliegos, and checked in to the first Albergue in town, Piedras Blancas. This is the nicest Albergue yet with just 6 beds to a room, and individual beds, not bunks. Very nice.
About the only interaction we had along the way was with a fellow about our age from Quebec named Roger. His spoken English is weak, but having often been on the other side of that equation I’ve learned to speak more slowly and distinctly, so we walked and talked for a good while.
Being a Sunday offers special issues – – – other than eating spots, most everything is closed. Fortunately, the Albergue has an associated bar that will serve dinner and breakfast, so this turned out to be a great place to stop.
Milky was still feeling a bit under the weather, whereas I’m nearly back to normal. He said, however, that one more day like this would be no problem, and then we’ll have a full day off in the city of Leon.
In our room for the night were 2 German women from near Frankfurt (Jacqueline & Petra) and late in the day an Austrian fellow that we last saw on our very first day. He had hiked his biggest day to get here, 44 km. An interesting guy, he speaks excellent English, has lived in southern Spain for 12 years and is very fluent in Castilian (Spanish) as well.
October 12th we woke to the sound of heavy rain, and based upon a pessimistic forecast, we set out in a heavy rain too. But within an hour or so the rain slackened so that the weather was not bad overall.
A lot of walking near highway today, but that was actually a good thing as traffic was light so that when rain puddles blocked the actual Camino path we could easily hop up to bypass on the highway shoulder.
Once we passed the town of Mansilla de las Mulas there were a lot of Pilgrims on the trail. We saw Roger again briefly, and I was very glad to see Heinrich and Gut again, though we only caught up to them because Heinrich has an infected / swollen foot. And the guy was still in very good spirits. He will hopefully see a doctor tomorrow.
We also saw Simon today, and later in town, Larry from San Diego – – with plans to meet up with him (Larry for dinner) . And I walked for a half hour or more with Chris who comes from near London.
We plan to take tomorrow (Tuesday October 13) as a “zero” day in Leon, i.e., a full day off. To that end we went to a Tourist information office, and they pointed us to a nearby hostel offering a three person room at a good rates for Leon. The only catch is that it contains one single and one double bed. Lucky immediately volunteered to sleep on the floor, so we went for it. It’s centrally located and quite nice for the price.
It will be great to have a day off in this city, and perhaps we’ll bump into others we recognize (this is a very social trail). The rain is supposed to give way to many consecutive days of good weather, so we’re all happy and optimistic.
I love everything about hiking this trail, even on a rainy day.
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