Camino Day 24: Puente Villarente to León 12km

I had a lazy morning in Puente Villarente given the short walk from there to León. And the fact that official check in time at Hostel Albany in Leon was not until 2pm. You may recall that I had made a 2 night’s single room booking in León.

I walked the 12km or so alongside 3 Americans who stayed in the same albergue as me last night. They had also all booked rooms at the same Hostel Albany.

This stone map was roughly a third of the way from Puente Villarente and León. As marked on it, see arrow.

One should never forget to on occasion look back towards from where one came from. As the Camino generally goes from east to west, the sunrise is from behind. And sunrise and early morning can provide excellent light for pictures.

You may not believe it but this modern pedestrian overpass is part of the Camino. You see it up the hill as you approach León from the east.

The view from that bridge. We are back in the big smoke. León is down the hill.

The distant “smoke” in the picture below may be from over Galicia. Living up to its reputation as being the rainiest province of Spain.

In a couple of more days I will be there and find out for myself.

Yes, definitely back in a major centre. Billboard advertising Burger King.

I later saw an ad for McDonalds. They were offering a “menú del peregrino“!? I didn’t check what that encompassed as I would not touch that “food” regardless. If there is a buck to be made…

Signs in countries outside your home country can be fun. This cute sign warned motorists that somebody may be checking their speed by radar…

The neon sign below just looked cool and retro. It must look fantastic when it is lit up at night.

The wall to the inner centre of Leon. And one of my American walking buddies today who wanted to be in that photo. Sorry, I have forgot her name.

Hostel Albany is right in the centre of León. If you look one side, you can see the impressive León Cathedral.

Turn around 180 degrees and you see facilities belonging to Hostel Albany.

The inside of my room 303 at Hostel Albany. Tiny but modern. Except that maintenance left a bit to desire. Things were falling apart a bit…

The view from the bed.

And looking out through the window to a light well. At least the window would provide light and if open some fresh air. Although I noticed later that fresh air had a fair bit of cooking smell to it.

After check in and handing over a large load of washing for action at the reception, it was time for a bite to eat. I joined forces with the 3 Americans at a small bodega for a 3€ snack. Coffee, tortilla and a bread with ham and brie cheese.

Camino complimentary gear shopping followed. I needed a rain cover for my backpack as Galicia beckons. I got that, but I also bought a few more things. So 82€ later, I got these 4 items.

I also got a pair of funky shorts, a fast drying short sleeved shirt and new rubber ends to my hiking poles. The old ones were a distant memory. One rubber end did not even survive the Pyrenees. Missing in action as I arrived in Roncesvalles.

After a little siesta, I decided to do a bit of flaneuring. Some pics follow from around León.

Tintin and his buddies in a shop window. Look on the right and you can see both a Swedish flag and an Australian icon. Why? Who knows?

I wandered west on Avenida de Ordono II to Rio Bernesga. Pretty. I liked León much better than Burgos already.

The inflow of water to the left was going through some environmental process. I didn’t quite get what and how, but presumably the water comes out again cleaner.

Leon’s central railway station was on the other side of Rio Bernesga. It looked like they had done something odd here. This is one side..


And the other side:

Yes, it appeared that they had made a road right across and over the railway lines. Cut them off 90 degrees right through.

That tiny little building you see in the middle photo is the “new” train station. The trains appear to stop there as they can no longer go through to the other side. Hmmm…

If you check the earlier map, you will find that the road cutting through the railway lines is not marked there. More hmmm..

Anyway, the interesting parts of León seemed to stop there. So I turned around and crossed the bridge back to the city side again.

I followed Parque de Paralaguinda south (did I mention that Leon is a  green city with lots of parks?). Is this promenade made for flaneuring or what?

High rised apartment living, bird style. Next to the promenade. Cute.

This looked like an environment where kids and young people can  train traffic sense. Great idea.

Plaza de Toros in León.

Parque El Chantre was another lovely park in León.

Even though this place had a cross on top of it, it looked like apartment living. Converted perhaps? Stylish!

Ha, this Burger King marketing made me laugh. “American street food”??

The next discovery made me happy. One of the largest Chinese junk stores that I have ever been to (I went in to check it out of course).

The store had so much stuff but all I came out with was a shaving soap. I couldn’t think of anything else that I needed.

Walking sticks were in plenty of supply in there. You never see them sold in similar shops in Australia.

I wandered past the local supermercado and picked up dinner and breakfast food. And beer and snacks as well of course.

I will take full advantage of having a single room for the two nights. That included eating in the room, at least for tonight’s dinner. I bought smoked salmon, iceberg salad and water. My dinner for tonight.

I also intend to have breakfast in the room for the next 2 mornings. This should do it.

Yes, cereal and milk, digestives crackers and sardines in olive oil and a bottle of orange juice. It is both cheaper and tastier than commercial coffee and toast breakfasts. Even if I have to leave some of it behind.

Now I will have a shave… And then a relaxing evening in my room all by myself. It was a while ago.

471km walked. 314km left to walk after Day 24

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