Finally....ever since I mentioned to Marty that my sandals were from Costco for only $20; he reminds us that if Costco doesn't have it you don't need it.
Until this morning I was becoming a believer. After a 2 hour hike (10km) from Hontanas to Castrojeriz we found a taxi ride to Polencia (50 km) and then a train to Leon -- without Costco (I know Costco sells cars or at least gets discounts but that seemed extreme (and no Costco here). The fun part was working through the language challenge. We thought we had a reasonable plan worked out with the hostess but then the taxi driver shows up ( at this point we don't know he is taxi driver we asked for). Soon there is a flury of fast speaking Spanish with lots of hand signals - and stunned looks by the gringos. It is settled - we hope - a taxi ride to Polencia and then the train. Here - pay attention to taxi drivers as they are in people moving business and know best options. We had a quick taxi ride to Polencia - at times reaching 140 km/hr. We felt safe as he was not reckless. We were on train shortly after arriving and the quick smooth trip at 150 km/hr to Leon. I am happy we walked some of Maseta - but so happy we saw remainder by car and train. You see similar geography across Canadian prairies.
We got to Leon before noon. Our luck changed; a festival in Madrid had Leon full of people from Madrid escaping the festival. I guess the Spanish are not always up to celebrations. In any event hotels and hostels and close in albergues full. Finally, we found albergue with 3 beds in one room - shared bathroom facilities. A great place - better yet they picked us up in city centre and will drive us to city boundary in the morning.
(Crap - I thought I had completed a great blog - but for some reason it disappeared so I have to redo.)
Marty and I took bus into city center this afternoon foe few hours. A beautiful city but I like Burgos best then Lagrono then Pamplona.
This morning we had more clothes on because the day before was at freezing when we expected low 40s. Today it was low 40s as forecasted - so had to shed clothes soon after start.
As I walked this morning I couldn't help feel sad about not being able to say hasta luego to some wonderful people we had met. Given our arrival date in Santiago of May 31 and knowing they had later date it is unlikely we will see them again. Unfortunate! I'm sure it happens too often on this journey.
Also, today I reflected back on earlier thoughts during the Camino - I'm surprised at all the memories that come to life. I think time to reflect is a wonderful thing. I believe I'm so fortunate for all the wonderful people in my life - family and friends. I'll go into more detail in coming days.
I can't emphasize enough - allow lots of time to do this trek.
Tonight Hans and Marty went to the supermarket for groceries and Hans cooked dinner - 15 euros including bottle of wine. We had a salad: lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, eggs and tuna with spaghetti and a sausage/tomatoes sauce. It was filling and tasty. The boys think we should do it again. At the risk of complaining -- I'll volunteer for next meal and step it up a notch. After all it is a vacation and we should step above pilgrim meal once in a while.,. right!
Our plan is to reach Santiago May 29 - drive to coast May 30 then tour city May 31. It means 20ish km/day for 12 days.
Bob Noble - I will pay attention to walking difficulty for last 100 km in the event you and Bambi decide to do it one day.