Arriving in Leon:
We started our journey from Leon to Santiago on May 3, 2017. After an 8 hr flight, 4 hr bus ride and 20 minute walk, my husband, sister and I finally arrived in Leon. We were exhausted but still excited to start our second Camino. We had booked our rooms in Hospedería Monástica Pax and we rushed over to check in. After a quick shower, we dragged ourselves out to explore Leon and fill our bellies with delicious paella. Tired and full we returned to our rooms in Monastica Pax. It’s not a five star hotel but the beds were comfortable and the bathrooms were clean. We had a good night’s sleep. The next day would be the start of our Camino.
Leon to Villavante – 30 km
We woke up early, still tired but eager to get back on the Camino. With granola bars in hand, we walked on to the street and followed the yellow arrows. It took us past Gaudi’s sleek medieval inspired Casa Botines and then over to the historic Parador de San Marcos. Just past the Parador, the scenery changed to the suburbs of Leon, then to the Industrial Zone of Piva Motors. Not the prettiest parts of the Camino.
8 km into the day, we reached the church of La Virgen del Camino with its modern sculptures of the 12 apostles. We ate a quick breakfast at the bar across from the church. From there, the path split into two. One path followed the main road, and the other was a slightly longer route through the scenic Paramo. We chose the latter, and as we walked the clouds started to gather. Soon, it was raining but I was too lazy to put my rain pants on.
We were soaked by the time we reached our intended stop for the day, Villar de Mazarife. After warming up with some tea and changing into my Barney purple rain pants, I felt re-energized. It was still early and we all agreed to walk another 10 km to Villavante.
The rain followed us, until I could’t tell the difference between wet from the rain and wet from the sweat building up in my non-breathable rain coat. The purple rain pants did nothing to cheer me up. No wonder it was the last one left on sale. Why do they even make rain pants this colour?
During the last stretch, the rain finally let up and we heard a loud cheer behind us. A hip french pilgrim, caught up with us while we rested by a stone marker. He had been walking behind us, keeping us sane with the knowledge that we weren’t alone in the miserable rain. We told him we would be walking to Villavante and he said he would stop at the closest town. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Villavante was the closest town. I could’ve been wrong.
We arrived in Villavante just as the rain was starting up again. The first albergue we passed was Santa Lucia and lucky for us they had a private room with bathroom available for 50 euors. We took it and were happy to find a clean room with 3 beds and a heater to dry our clothes. The dinner at the albergue wasn’t spectacular and there wasn’t much chit chat among the pilgrims. We saw the french pilgrim having dinner and gave him the gentleman’s nod. Everyone was spent, including us. We slept like babies that night.
Infographic – Leon to Villavante: