Leon to Villavante (population: 60? Maybe?)
April 21, 2015
8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
8 hours for 33 km
We thought last night’s accommodation was the best. We live a charmed life. Tonight’s is even better! Mercedes and her husband, whom we have not yet met, bought this falling down mill nine years ago and in two years completely renovated and restored it to a gorgeous bed and breakfast half a kilometre past the bridge out of Villavante, a huge property beside the Camino. There are six double guest rooms and one cottage with a room for people with pets. If you are looking for a great B and B in Spain, call Molino Galochas.
We were warmly welcomed by Mercedes and offered hot and cold drinks and nuts. We had called ahead and she gave us a family rate (75 euros) for the three of us to have two rooms rather than paying 55 euros per room.
We arrived with two extra customers for her: Kanji and Susie. Fortunately there were extra rooms. Last night the house was full.
Bonus: Mercedes will make us dinner for 7:30 PM and breakfast at 8 AM. She does not function well before that hour! We normally leave earlier but we are happy to make an exception. We walked 33 kilometres today but only have 21 kilometres to do tomorrow. Plus this is such a beautiful home, staying longer would not be a hardship. Margaret wants to move in. I told Margaret she will have to buy one of the many fixer-uppers we have seen, but she has fallen in love with this one.
Our road was hard today, very hard, mostly pavement and in full sun. It felt warmer than 19 C although there was a refreshing breeze in our backs. My feet were burning a good part of the way in spite of having purchased new insoles and taking frequent stops. My feet are not part of my charmed life!
We walked out of Leon for the first eight to ten kilometres. This was interesting to see where people live and work, but hard on my feet.
The next several kilometres were between fields of scrub, pasture and some newly planted fields of pine trees. More mature pine forests stand out on the horizon like green saws on their backs bearing their teeth to the sky.
The snow-capped mountains were in the distance behind us then to our right side and finally they also rose out of the mist in the horizon before us. One snow-capped dome was curiously always even with my right shoulder.
The last several kilometres were finally on a hard packed dirt road rather than a paved country road. The land was more fertile and once again there were crops of peas, cereals and canola surrounded by concrete irrigation troughs. Theses latter were quite full of cold clear water. I refrained from shedding my shoes and walking in them although I was sorely tempted.
For the last few kilometres the drainage ditches were full of water and in these were millions of frog eggs, some tadpoles and the first crop of croaking frogs. Red poppies blew in the breeze watching over the frog population.
We enjoyed walking several kilometres in the streets of Leon yesterday. The cathedral was magnificent. We had a delicious pilgrim feast at Meson La Perla. Mine was leeks and mushrooms with Roquefort sauce followed by roast lamb and fries. I could not eat three lamb shanks. Even though Brian and Margaret helped me out, there was still some on the plate. Marg and Brian had an asparagus and mushroom green salad then five lamb chops with fries. I do not know where Margaret is packing hers. Maybe flying faster than me along the trail burns more calories. None of us had dessert. The ice cream earlier in the afternoon filled that spot.
Time to check out more of this house. My feet and legs are done resting on the wall