A Pilgrim Tale: day twenty


The world is silvered with frost, and the most common roadside weeds have become works of wonder.

I am wearing all my clothes.



After the frost burns off, we pass our friend Daniel, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, as he is resting his feet. He has had some difficulty with his shoes. He has even done the unthinkable and bought new ones along the way, keeping the old ones so he could switch them out while breaking the new ones in. He has just had bad news from home. A family member has died. But he will rally, and we will see him in the cathedral in just less than two weeks.


We arrive in Leon on market day. The city is thronged with people. In the square in front of the cathedral, there is a farmer’s market where we buy nectarines. In another square, tents are filled with pottery. Still another street holds jewelry and cloth and other flea market type items. At one point, we have to step aside to allow an armored knight on horseback and his retinue to pass. I’m never sure what that’s about, but it’s pretty cool.


Leon possesses a number of architectural masterpieces. Gaudi has a building here, Casa de Botines. Not all Dr. Seuss and sandcastles like in Barcelona, but still magic.


Though a great many of our friends are stopping in Leon to have more time there, we decide to press on to La Virgin del Camino. There we stay in the very clean and efficient municipal albergue, Don Antonio y Dona Cinia, though it takes us a minute to find it. We are happy to discover an Irish pub that sells an assortment of beers, the like of which we have not yet seen in Spain. Though the basic blonde, fizzy cerveza is refreshing enough after a long day of hiking, it is nice to find something a little sturdier.


Special Thanks to David for reminding me that this was the day I ate the largest hamburger in the world. And for capturing it on film. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Hey, a girl gets hungry.)

Tomorrow, we will wake to rain. But tonight, my mind is filled with images of thistles against a blue sky and bright blossoms in sunshine.




The difference between pilgrim and tourist is the intention of attention, the quality of the curiosity.
~Phil Cousineau