Since we did have a hotel room, we decided that we would treat ourselves to having a late morning sleep in, then enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Kay had decided that she was going to spend an extra day enjoying Leon. Chris, Doreen and I enjoyed our cafe con leche and chocolate panne in a small cafe with a wonderful view of the cathedral. After our coffee, we returned to check out and get our backpacks. Thanks to instructions from the hotel manager, we headed for the bus stop. We did lose our sense of direction and walked too far. After asking for directions, we finally located the bus that would take us to the village of La Virgen del Camino. By taking the bus, we were able to avoid walking thru the industrial sections of Leon and stayed away from the highway. It was after 1 pm as we set out from La Virgen del Camino to walk 13.6 kms to Villar de Mazarife where Albergue San Antonio Padua would be our resting place for the day. The weather was on the cool side with a light breeze blowing which made for easier walking. The landscape was not note worthy and there was no vehicle traffic along the country road. Since we had chosen to walk later in the day, there was only one pilgrim that was walking and our paths crossed several times during the afternoon. At one point, we saw a combine harvesting a field of sunflowers.
At another time, Doreen pointed out a family quail skipping across a field that had just been tilled.
It was close to 5 pm, as we checked in at the Albergue.
I had just enough time to have a rest before the evening meal. The meal offered by the Albergue was excellent. There was a mixed salad to start, followed by cold tomato soup. The main course was a paella that was all vegetarian. Very flavorful. The meal was rounded out with a crepe that had been spread with orange sauce, drizzled with chocolate and served with a dollop of whip cream. It was delicious!
It is 9:56 and lights are out at 10 pm. Time for my beauty sleep.
I had the very same meal in the same Albergue three years ago and it was also delicious then. The owner made us chocolate with churros for breakfast as well.
Don’t forget to make a quick visit to the new church in San Justo on the way to Astorga. It’s the most modern church on the Camino and a complete contrast to all the other beautiful and richly ornate interiors you’ve seen so far.