Day 23-October 5, 2017
Ledigos to Mansilla de Las Mulas, Spain
This morning I had a coffee at Bar Elvis which is featured in the movie The Way. The owner, a wiry Spanish man in his 50’s, plays and sings Elvis songs all day.
It was a warm 55 before daylight this morning when I left at 7:15 and I walked in the hot 80’s all day. I stopped in a small town which still has a large part of its ancient walls intact. Quite impressive.
In a small bar, off the trail, I ordered a coffee, orange juice and two fired eggs. A tall pilgrim asked if he could join me. This was Leo, from Switzerland, who is 72 and walking the Camino for the fifth time since 2010. Three years ago, Leo had just divorced and walked the Camino to grieve. On that trip, he met his current wife and soon afterwards moved to Budapest.
He told me he has a dream every night about where he should go next and his dream today was to get to Arcahueja. I told him I would be stopping in the next town, not Arcahueja.
On our brief walk, he told me about a man named Wolf, in an upcoming village. He said Wolf was known to be a healer, a mystic that will not take money, is old, humble, and has supernatural powers. He told me he met Wolf two years ago and after that he walked 160 kilometers in two days. He couldn’t understand why he had so much energy. Ironically, when he got to Santiago, they would not give him his certificate of completion, because he did not have enough stamps in his credential – he had walked through so many towns, many at night, not even stopping to get a stamp. He recommended I see Wolf if I had the chance, “but if not, then it’s not part of your Camino.”
I asked him about a place in Manjarin which is about 100 kilometers away. I’ve been told that there is a man there that performs miracles. Leo said he’d seen that man and didn’t trust him. He said the man runs an albergue and he has been told that all who stay there go crazy afterwards. Camino legends abound. I got to the next town, Mansilla de las Mulas and Leo moved on.
Day 24-October 6, 2017
Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon, Spain
The dawn of a new day….It’s 44 this morning and cold!
When I arrived in Leon, the largest city on the camino, it takes a while to get my bearings, but finally I find the St Tomas de Canterbury Albergue. Check in, had a luke-warm shower and head out for a bit of an exploration. This city of Leon historic district is about 1.5 miles away. I took the city bus for 1.20 euros and dropped off at the city square. It appears this city has an affinity for chocolate. There is a chocolate museum, and although I am just guessing, it seems there are at least 40 chocolate shops.
The whole historic district is alive with a mid-evil festival. It’s shoulder to shoulder people and performers. The festival is to last to wee hours into the night. Spain sure knows how to celebrate!
Tomorrow, I will start being a tourist and visit the museums and Cathedral. Tomorrow is soon to come. And so I must sleep………