This is my last night in Leon and my last big city before I return to London after Santiago. It’s been fun, Leon, and you are one crazy party town! I was just a bystander and didn’t take part in much for three reasons: 1. I’m a tired, worn down pelegrina; 2. I can’t really afford the physical toll of “partying” too much without paying the consequences the next day; and 3. Traveling by myself and having a serious language deficit means I have to take extra precautions not to put myself in vulnerable situations. I hope you understand, Leon. Besides– this festival weekend isn’t really my party. I have no clue what is going on or what is being celebrated. Dancing, marches, drums, a large gaggle of bicyclists with big flags and sound systems attached to their frames, public church services on the square… I’m completely clueless but it is a spectacle!
Alrighty, so some final pictures–
Saw a lilac bush in full bloom, but it was too high for me to bury my face in them:
Had a moment in which I thought of a specific group of grad school friends: the Lucid Ladies. I miss you all!
The monastery was finally open when I walked by. Rumor has it that half of the monastery, including the cloisters, is now a four-star hotel and where part of the Martin Sheen movie was filmed.
The cloisters through the glass partition:
Figured out what has been making all that racket in the park across the street from my hostel (note the elders sitting on the bench just watching his show):
Sunday market along the river where I bought socks:
And these young dudes dressed in unicorn onesies. They saw me take this photo so ran up and offered to pose with me. That felt weird (and very much like a Seafair thing to do), but I did chat for a few moments. They knew immediately I was an English speaking pilgrim (when I asked how they knew to speak English with me, one of them clicked his tongue and said “cmon, it’s obvious” — still trying to figure that out). They all had walked the Camino before and were wishing me great luck. They were a bachelor party so I told the groom I had been married almost 25 years and I wish him great luck as well. Then another tourist wanted a photo so Bunny and I got pulled into their group. What a picture that would be! Never assume what a group of drunk people dressed as unicorns are really going to be like:
Checked out part of the Roman/medieval wall and gates:
People dancing in the square in front of the cathedral:
And finally reuniting with this crew for dinner:
Gary from the Netherlands, Alison from Chester, and Juan from Brazil. They are taking Monday as their rest day so I will be one day ahead again. Somehow all of us pilgrims still bump into each other! (I had coffee in the morning with Ian from Canada, someone I met in the first few days in Zubiri).
One more thought about that last pic: man, Bunny is bright!
I’m off again!