Thursday 17.04.2014 Ailish’ 18th Birthday!
Bercianos Real Camino – Astorga via Leon 93kms 299m
Wow, what a day this has been. The pelicans in the room next door put paid to my lie-in ‘til 0715 by rising at 0600, flushing toilets opening and closing doors and generally conversing with much merriment. I stuck almost to my guns and got out of bed at 0700. By 0800 we were almost ready and waiting at the door of the bar to access our breakfast. Two big pieces of toast this morning and two tubs of butter and jam.
Anyway off we trot and eventually find the road we want amongst the maze. I have to confess at this point that we stayed in the only village without an old church. The one in existence was so new it wasn’t even finished! Don’t know what happened to the old one.
We seem to have developed this habit of arriving in cities at the most inopportune moments. Today was no exception. Leon was celebrating – what I don’t know. We have tried between us to work out what comes before Good Friday and think that it may be Maundy Thursday?! No doubt some of you will know. As a result of all this activity, it was absolutely impossible to reach the cathedral without killing half the populace. Throngs of folk; for they were there in their thousands! So we did indeed follow the sun and a very helpful lady who waved us vehemently in the direction of yet another plaza with a church and a Parador. Once there, however, we found our route out of Leon. Neither the route in or out of this city could be described as anything other than very mediocre. In fact, I thought Leon to be an unwashed and unloved city. Maybe others will disagree. Still, leave it behind we did, up yet another long, hot and busy hill. It has to be said that we have experienced really good weather as we have seen nothing in the way of rain or cold. (tempting fate –ed.)Today though, had memories of Italy with its unrelenting long roads with no shade at all. We did eventually find a tree with a few leaves providing just enough shade to keep ones head in the shade – mine!
At some point on the route Mr. I would like a nice place to stop tonight, had seen a sign for a four star hotel in Astorga. “That sounds nice.” saith he. “Mmmm….. and how far is it?” I ventured to ask. With a careless shrug, he dismissed my question with an “Oh, not that far.” Hmmm……………now 90 plus kilometres later we are in a great venue, a beautiful town and we will hopefully be offered more than two pieces of toast for breakfast which is included in the vast sum we have forked our for one night’s stay.
|Angels of Stone|
Tomorrow is a 25 kilometre climb so two bits of toast ain’t going to go far!
(With thousands of pelicans marching west and now the Angels of Stone, I'm beginning to think this is a Doctor Who set -Ed.)