Day 26 - Leon to Villadango Del Paramo

Date: May 30, 2015

Location: From: Leon To: Villadangos Del Paramo

Mileage: 21.3 km

Weather: Another beautiful day without a cloud in the sky

Temperature: Upper 50s° F at 6:00 a.m and in the mid 70s° F at 2:30 p.m.

Lodging and Cost: Hostal Libertad - 35€

GPS Location: ’42.593463” N and ’ -5.766507” W

Highlights: The beautiful walk out of Leon with it just getting light enough to see and the sights of seeing the little towns and villages that you get to see.

Summary of the Day:

I was awake at 5:00 this morning and slowly packed while waiting for it to show some signs of daylight to leave town. I left the Hostal at 5:45. It seems like it is more difficult getting out of the towns than it is to walk once you’re out. There are just so many little streets that turn off the main path out and the markings aren’t well enough displayed so you spend much more time than you normally would just to leave, and today was no different. I finally got out of Leon proper but it seems like with most big cities there are little connecting suburbs that you just move from one to another so there was a lot of pavement walking early.

I’m really happy that I got out before the sun popped up. I got to the little town of La Virgin de Camino and there was a coffee shop open with a lady standing out front offering breakfast. It was too tempting and I stopped. I am glad that I did as it. Was probably one of the best cups of café con leche, if not the best that I’ve had since being in Spain. She was really working the front of her shop and in about ten minutes she had all the outside tables and chairs full and working on the inside.

After breakfast I took back off again doing a fair amount of road walking, or at least a path paralleling the road and within earshot of it. There was hardly any traffic coming through. The guidebook says that 29% of the walk today is considered road walk which is what this is. I don’t think it’s too bad if you don’t actually have to walk the pavement. I met two women from Chicago and one was having problems with shin splints and the other one is walking slowly along with her and now they are both taking the bus every few days to move forward. It wasn’t long and I moved on ahead while she stopped and waited for her friend. The trail does another one of those splits like further back where one track goes off to another set of towns and the other one keeps on the path with the book. Both are listed but the official track is in Gold arrows and the option track is in Green arrows. About two days out both paths they come back together. I think it’s a way for all the towns to share in the revenue coming in from the Camino. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Two years ago I took the green paths as they were gold then and now they have just changed the color of the arrows so I walked the gold this year to see something new.

It seemed like I moved quickly up the trail and came up on a Canadian that I had walked with for a while about a week ago. His name was Mike and he was doing a photo blog of all the people he see’s on the trail from St. Jean to Santiago. He is getting all the e-mail address’ so that he can notify everybody and they can go on his site and if they missed a picture of someone they hiked with then they can just copy it off there. He was a nice guy when we walked together a while back he was telling me that he does all his own investing and we were able to talk stocks and investing, which was interesting. I will probably meet up with him in Astorga and we could be on the same daily mileage goal. I came into the town of Villadangos del Paramo. I thought it was going to be a little bigger, but no, it has two main streets, both are as narrow as can be, but one has a constant stream of traffic roaring through. It’s strange as there isn’t much going on here but they have a bakery, a little supermarket with a butcher, a smaller la Tienda, which is like a tiny quick shop with everything in it. And a nice Hostal, which is where I am staying and of course a church. The strange part of this, is they have two big Spanish banks (La Caja Espana and Santander). I just don’t see this town or any neighboring towns being able to support one much less two. The nice thing about this is if you forget to draw cash from an ATM in Leon you got another shot at it, even though tomorrow is going to be Astorga which is a city of twelve thousand population.

I found my Hostal, not hard, and got in to my room. After cleaning up and getting something to eat, I thought that I’d walk around town, so I did. Ten minutes I was back in my room with that task complete. I really like these small towns, as long as the have a place to stay and eat. These type of towns give me a chance to have Spanish conversation even if it’s short. I can’t sustain a long conversation, only multiple short ones. This has been a great day and I’m getting ready for tomorrow and a longer walk to Astorga where I will tour the Cathedral and go to the Gaudi Museum if it is open. I only got to see some of it last time I was there. I will hopefully be able to take a lot of pictures to post to the photo gallery for you to see. So until tomorrow I will say good night and… Buen Camino.

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