First day of the Camino. Backpack full and heavy and suitcase, that will be moved to my next hotel, is packed to the absolute limit. Magically got to two pieces of luggage after all (wearing those bulky hiking boots purchased at REI) but barely. Hopefully the backpack won’t be the death of me — or my back!
Thirteen miles from Leon to Mazarife. Passed through Leon, where I saw the beautiful Plaza San Marcos and the monastery with another gorgeous courtyard. Sculpture of a pilgrim outside and shells on the edifice. Through the suburbs of Leon, an industrial park and then on to a church with the 12 apostles (James looking out toward Santiago) and the Virgin Mary above them all in the town of La Virgin del Camino. Took a bit of a wrong turn based on the directions given to me but a nice man in a car beeped at me and gave me the “no no” wave of his finger and I followed the map in my book. Much better. Trust the map not people with good intentions who may not know what they are talking about!
On to more remote walking, down paths that never seem to end. Many go uphill, few seem to go down! Past a few quaint villages. The way is well marked. Despite hearing how popular the Camino has become, I certainly see many on the path, but have many times when I am completely alone as far as the eye can see. Warm / hot weather, but there is a breeze that seems to arrive just when it is needed.
Feet are good (except for bunions — jeez I’m old), all is well except the back is a bit sore. Need to look up best backpack strategies for the back.
Arrive in Mazarife after 5 hours. Thirteen miles. Horribly slow. I blame the back tracking, but, really, I’m just slow and old. This isn’t a race, it is a marathon, and I am grateful for no blisters, finding my way and having the rest of the day to get this blog updated.
Church at Mazarife also has a pilgrim statue…
Picked up and driven to my hotel — an amazing hostess who carried my luggage up to my room and will serve us dinner!! Beautiful, large home. I am sitting on my balcony outside my room with the view on the last picture.
Not roughing it on the first day!! Buen Camino (as everyone says to you)