To the edge of Leon (Arcahueja)

I only had 6.4 miles to walk today.

I tried stretching it out. I left Mansilla at 9:00… very late in Camino world. I stopped and smelled some irises. I took pictures of two medieval bridges.

Do not let your children walk on the narrow handrail of the footbridge. Ok, got it. (Note they translated it into English; there aren’t too many signs in English so there must be precedent of some sort… hmmm):

I stopped for a break and orange juice and ended up waxing philosophy on life with Paul from California (good to see you!).

I just lallygagged down the road. Other pilgrims were speeding by me.

I’ve noticed the last two days that some businesses in the villages are painting their own yellow arrows to bring pilgrims to their doors. It’s pretty frustrating when this happens, and Chuck and I were almost thrown off trail at one point yesterday. I encountered this craziness again today. Businesses should be reprimanded for this nonsense, or at least required to use a color other than yellow. Can you spot the real trail marker? It’s small and on the side of the curb:

I still reached Arcahueja by 11:30, despite my best efforts.

The albergue I’m staying in is pretty much the only thing in the village, so I vegetated.

I really wish I had a book. I’m sick of reading news from home on my phone now.

I couldn’t go all the way into Leon today despite the fact that I am ahead of schedule because I could not change my hostel reservations. In fact, it seems the entire city is sold out this weekend — protect those reservations! I had dinner with pilgrims tonight who are planning to walk very slowly through the city but not stop because there are no accommodations. I really lucked out, but it means I spent most of today spinning my wheels in this tiny little village suburb of the city.

This friendly little guy lives at the albergue. He seems kind of sad and lonely in the back courtyard. We spent a lot of time together. I really miss Gawain and Roxy Dox back home:

I took a little mini-walk around the village (for a total of about 20 minutes). Look what I saw in two different gardens ready to open! My absolute favorite flower, always timed to bloom on my birthday!

Since Seattle has been having heat waves in the spring the last few years, my bushes at home have been blooming and done by mid-April lately. Looks like these are going to pop right on time.

That’s pretty much it for today. Adios!

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