The writing is on the wall

The writing is on the wall

Day 20. Leon to Vilar de Mazarife. 22 km

Distance to Santiago : 197 miles

I think all my fellow travellers would accept that we over indulged last night

Perhaps overwhelmed by sensory experiences of a big city with ,like crowds and stuff, we wandered from bar to bar in the Barrio district like slack jawed yokels.

But what a city is Leon. Named after the Roman legion that was based here, the medieval buildings take your breath away. The cathedral has the most beautiful stained glass windows I have ever seen , bathing the place in a soft light

The city also has the best nightlife I have ever seen as well. The best .

You can be sophisticated and sit supping something small in any of the remarkable plazas here.

Or do what we did and head for the Barrio Humedo where the bars are full of good natured locals drinking wine and eating tapas.

It’s the sort of place that in England would soon have tattooed thugs throwing things and punches at each other.

But here there were just bunches of smiley people. Even the stag parties had people playing musical instruments.

But the night’s bacchanalia has taken its toll. The Fellowship of the Ring has been broken

Scottish Alan is still in Leon allegedly taking a “rest day”

Baz the trainee priest has moved on another stage…no mean feat cos it involved an extra 14 km I do hope nobody said anything that upset him

Danish Aaron – the coolest guy on the Camino – seems to have disappeared after the evening meal in Leon (sensible chap )

No one knows what has become of Americans Dan and Kurt but I’m seriously hoping Big Dan got back to his hotel without being arrested….

Which leaves me walking all day with the redoubtable Sinead, the international Ireland hockey player who seems oddly unimpressed with my stories if epic rugby matches between Newark and Mansfield

She’s back on the road after a catalogue of injuries that would have left me taking the first bus out of here long ago. I wouldn’t like her marking me on the pitch. ..

Oh and it also leaves Irish Barbara in the refugio across the road. How she has got this far is beyond me. Another injury victim.

But she is more handicapped by her ability to leave her belongings at every cafe stop along The Way

And we are missing Sandra and Vinny the loveliest , smiliest couple I have ever met. you always feel just a little bit happier after a few moments in their company

So Sinead and I have pitched up in this hostel run by Jesus

It’s ironic really cos there are clearly some Messianic wannabes here.

You can spot them a mile off. Ponytail/long hair. Carefully sculpted beards and a look of serenity in their eyes…

Jesus runs this place (I think) When we arrived he was otherwise employed and his wife had to summon him

She did this by screaming “Haysus ! Haysus! Haysus!!!! Several times and in a tone which suggested that she did not believe he was the son of man

This is one of those hostels frequented by Camino believers who think it is their duty to plaster the walls with “deep” quotations on life and spirituality.

Example” dont lighten the load, just get stronger shoulders”

Eh?

Try carrying my backpack and see where that spirituality takes you…

Or ” we are but energy in a vacume (sic) how does that make you feel ?

Covered in fluff ??

Oh. Not that kind of vacuum ?

“everything is possible if you want. ”

Really? Well I want my employer not to scrap my job. Is that possible then? Thought not

This spiritual stuff is countered by one Brit contribution:
“We are Leeds Marching on the Camino” deep man, deep.

It wouldn’t be so laughable if one didn’t suspect most of the people who spout this nonsense are going on to be corporate lawyers , bankers or business leaders.

Enough “negativity” from me. I’m off for a pilgrim meal. 3 courses with wine for 9 euros according to the sign outside the pub

Now there’s a message I can believe in.

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