Monday, June 17th 2013
Carrion de los Condes – Hospital de Orbigo 134 km
I am not sure if this is cheating or not. Well, it is. But I was told that everyone is supposed to do, what and how they can. I think that the final outcome is more important. In 134 km I could have met some nice people, I could have seen small animals and lots of beautiful flowers.
We take the guidebook and see how many km we still have to walk and how many days we have left until our flight back. It looks like the time is actually short, so we will skip the rest of the meseta. I am sure that I will come again on the camino but I will not book a return ticket.
We sleep more than usual. We planned to take the bus to Leon at 11.45. We go at 10 am to buy bus tickets but it seems that the bus is full. It is raining, so we go in the bar in the center of the village. The bar is also crowded, there are a lot of pilgrims waiting for the bus. We really need a solution here because the next bus is tomorrow. Hitchhike? Not a good idea because the bartender and Mariano, the host from the albergue, both say that there not too many cars around. We are in the middle of nowhere and it is pouring rain. So close to walk again.
There comes a cute girl from US with a great idea. She says that we should split a taxi. Her name is Robyn and her reason to walk the way is kind of impressing. She is 23, just finished college and had some spare time. But she survived a terrible car crash and she had to learn how to walk again. So, here she is, walking the camino with her twin sister.
We arrive by train to Leon. I am so happy to meet one Italian pilgrim in the train station. I was sad because I had no time to talk to him more, and maybe, have a beer together. But here he is. We have some time for a little chat and to say each other ‘all the best’, ‘buen camino’ (the pilgrims greeting) and a hug 🙂
We walk the camino in Leon. I like this city a lot. We see the churches and cathedrals but also the ‘Casa de Botines’ by Gaudi. And we have lunch, some patatas bravas, French fries with spicy sauce. Love them. My mom tells me that five years ago, on her first camino, she went to a very nice albergue in Hospital de Orbigo. And she insists that we should leave by bus to this place. She had the time of her life there, so she is anxious to see that place again, and soon.
So, today we took the taxi, then the train and now the bus. A weird way of being a pilgrim. But I can see now why my mom wanted so much to be here. We are in a private albergue where the hospitalera (the host), Marianne speaks very good English and she welcomes us with a glass of good wine. She is a wonderful person, very energetic and optimistic. I am so glad to have met her. This place smells great, there are some incense sticks burning, I guess. Cristina, the wife of Paolo Coelho, was also here. She also painted, her painting is hanged on the wall. It is clear now, why my mom wanted so much to come here.
There are many Americans here. We meet Matt, who walks on the camino with his 15 year old son. I have bread with avocado for diner. I saw a woman eating this a few days ago and I craved it ever since.
My favorite thing about this place is that the pilgrims are allowed to paint here. I get a glass of wine and start painting. Everyone likes my painting and I feel like a superstar. They ask if I was a professional, but this is my second try. Cool. Unfortunately, I have to abandon my painting in this albergue.
I go to bed early, at 22:35, tomorrow is a new day. We will walk from now on. Santiago, here we come.
I feel thankful, this day made me realize that it is good to accept and embrace whatever it happens to us. And also, I understood that material possessions, like a beautiful painting can be left behind rather than carried around. I can walk the way of life easier and happier without carrying any ‘weight’.