DAY 21: León to San Marti del Camino

September 24, 2018

Yesterday almost felt like a day off. We slept until 6:00AM, walked only 10 miles, walked around León like tourists and had a nice albergue for the night.
Today we were back to serious business, waking at 5:30, breakfast provided at the albergue (donation only), and then on the road again. We weren’t sure how far we would go today. Our guidebook had today as a short 12 mile segment, but we felt so good that we decided to continue a few more miles to the next town of San Martin del Camino. The route was very uninteresting today. Most of it was along the highway with a bunch of run-down towns. (It took well over an hour just to get out of León).
We’re staying in the Municipal albergue, a bit run-down, but not bad. There’s absolutely nothing to this town, so we’ll eat a pilgrim (communal) dinner here tonight, even though it isn’t until 8:00, which is late for me.
All new faces at this albergue, except Bob and his son Andrew. We met them days ago and our paths keep crossing, as they do on the Camino. Bob and Andrew are from Vancouver, although Bob immigrated there from China as a college student. He is quite talkative, and his son (about 22 years old) never says a word. The only time I heard his voice was a few days ago when we had no wi-fi, and he was on his phone using data. I asked him if he had read any news that day and his eyes lit up as he told me he was obsessed with the news, and proceeded to fill me in with the day’s events. (Update: No wi-fi today, so Andrew just came over to tell me Rosenstein is out.)
I’m liking the municipal albergues better lately and today, I realized why. Many of the young, partying pilgrims that we had with us the first half are gone, either ahead of us or off the Camino. That helps to make these municipal albergues quieter. But then we’ve also lost a lot of familiar faces. Michelle and Gabby took a bus into León and started walking from there yesterday because they were short on time. Karol and Aina, the Polish couple, were with us in the matrimonial room last night, but were planning on hiking 20+miles today. The last we saw of them was this morning, as they headed off holding hands, telling us they would see us down the trail when they stopped for coffee. But we never did see them. (Carol just texted Enrique saying they were 10 kilometers ahead of us). From here to Santiago, there are lots of different places to stop, so we’ll really be spread our. Twelve more days. We just realized we should finish by October 6th. All along we’ve been thinking it would be the 7th!

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