There is nothing like a rest day when you’re walking 500 miles across Spain.
I’m in the town of Leon – a city that’s been around since about 30BC, and a spectator stop – full of energy – something I was lacking as I dragged my ass past the ancient city walls.
The architecture is wonderful- a combination of religious obsession and Roman oppression.
The town’s queen diva is its cathedral, built in the 13century. It’s a true gothic goddess known for its embrace of and exploitation of light.
The light show is stunning, and changes by the moment as the clouds move past the sun, and as the sun moves east to west. You can just imagine all the pilgrims of pilgrims past, marveling at the miracle of light.
The cathedral is the city’s spiritual heart – but my heart stopped a beat when I arrived at my rest stop – the famed Parador de Leon – and who is there standing at the reception but my husband!!!
Don’t worry, don’t worry I’m not going all X-rated on you.
My sweetheart is here to cheer me on through to the end of my Camino. He won’t walk, instead he’ll drive and push me beyond my limits so that I don’t quit my Spanish Schlep.
Not that I would quit – no way am I going to let this bitch beat me.
We strolled through Leon this afternoon and bumped into my fellow pilgrims and he was able to witness the strength, energy, and humor of those I’m sharing this slice of my life with.
As we sipped on wine and ate our tapas and fried under the blazing Spanish sun, I pointed out my Camino comrades… “oh that’s the Australian, she’s 73 and traveling on her own, see that guy he’s the German who’s done this six times already, oh look… there’s Peggy, she’s got a bum knee, oh god don’t look, that’s the creepy guy who drinks out of his boots….”
It was the who’s who of the pilgrim parade.
He also got to see how obsessed we are about each other’s feet, legs, and overall health. We are a community of strangers hell-bent on completing a common goal.
Tomorrow we start another climb towards the end of our journey. Since we’re done with the Meseta section, we’re moving on to the wild and rocky Cantabrian Mountain section which includes the high point of the Camino Frances (oh fucking joy), and the third phase of this pilgrimage, the stage known as the spiritual stage.
OMG! OMG!!!! O!M!G!
I’m in high spirits. My blisters are healing, my muscles feel strong and healthy – and I need safety pins to hold up my undies!!!
Yes, the great 500-mile walk diet really works – your panties will fall off after about 250 miles! Jenny Craig – you know nothing!
I’m wrapping up today’s reflections, more tapas – and red wine – await me….. someone get some more safety pins before these panties completely fall off—- and that has nothing to do with my hubby’s arrival (wink wink)!