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Susan Blogs About Our Camino To Vilar De Mazarife

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Sunday 25th May 2008 - 1:09pm
Vilar De Mazarife in map square [C2]
by Susan
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Hi Folks! Well here we are the other side of Leon!!!

To fill you in on the last couple of days...

Well Mansilla of the mules wasn´t as architecturally exciting as one might have hoped. Certainly the medieval walls had nothing on Lugo´s (check last year´s Lugo pics) mind you surely few town walls can be that impressive after Lugo. The hostel was very nice in Mansilla though, kind of situated around a courtyard filled with plants (mainly flowering geraniums)(possibly mispelt geraniums?) [see photo]
and zoe randomly invited another English lady who was staying there to dinner (because we go a bit mad whenever we see a food shop and buy too much food) and we had a lovely chat and it turns out she´s John the English Caravan Man´s (who helps out all the pilgrims with blister suff and refreshments) neice! Small world on the camino eh! :)

The walk into Leon wasn´t anywhere near as traumatic as the walk through industrial Burgos although there was a quite scary bit when we had to run acoss a motorway!!! Luckily they had a sign up warning "pilgrims crossing" just so the massive trucks speeding towards us knew who to aim for...!

At the point when we were walking in along the drainage channel at the edge of the motorway (which constituted the main Camino Path!) I began to suspect that Leon assumes most pilgrims take the bus in... And indeed we did walk past a big queue of pilgrims at the bus stop that morning! Still that always seems like cheating to me... I mean if you don´t do that crap bits then you don´t get the whole experience and also I think it makes the scenic bits all the more enjoyable if you´ve walked past all the rubbishy scary stuff.

That said most of the way in Leon was very sunny and green and fountain-y - then as soon as I skipped siesta to look round it rained and rained and rained and rained.....!

Still there was a point when I was thinking "I don´t like Leon it´s a bit too cold and rainy" and as if it heard me the sun came out and the cathedral opened (churchs also have siestas apparently!) and it stayed sunny just long enough for me to half paint a pic of the cathedral! (bit rushed with rainsplashes which I will later describe as artistic effect!)

If you´re looking round Leon I would skip looking for the Gaudi Palace which wasn´t that impressive. I spent a long time walking round in the rain searching for something a bit more Gaudi-esque but in the end had to conclude it was the slightly boring bank building. The cathedral was pretty, not as exciting as Burgos´s but still huge stained glass windows that made me go "oooo!" when I looked up!

For a bit of excitement I went on a spanish tour of San Isadoro (possible mis-spelling) which I think is a church but I never quite made it to the church bit. I say a tour but actually I think I went on two tours as my spanish is so bad I had no clue what was happening and I noticed the other people in the group I started the tour with were not the same as the people I finished with.... Also I think I was supposed to see four bits and I only saw three but one of them twice!!! It´s at times like that I vaguely wonder if knowing Spanish would be useful... I´m pretty sure I caught the word for "ice-cream" at one point but why would the medieval folks paint Jesus having an ice-cream on their church ceiling?!? So maybe I misheard that eh.... but it was the only word I knew!

So after that I figured I´d pretty much done Leon and Zoe remembered that she really doesn´t like cities so we decided not to have a day off (which we were seriously considering!) and we´ve moved on. We´ve taken the scenic route to Astorga which is a bit longer and will take an extra day I think. It got hilly quite quickly on the way out of Leon today which was a shock after all that meseta. Think we´ve go some serious mountains coming up soon.....

Staying in Vilar De Mazarife toady in the Refugio De Jesus where thay have an ark in the garden! Honest! I´ll take a pic! [see photo]

Very pretty walking today! Zoe much better! Also still looking cool! (she´s taken the back half of her braids out and dyed her hair blonde over the past few days just to confuse you all re: her hair style!)

Seriously time for me to go have a siesta...
Catch you later folks! :)

Comment Added: Sunday 25th May 2008 - 9:58pm
"Your plant has sent up an elegant white flower - thought you should know."
by Mum

Comment Added: Sunday 25th May 2008 - 11:24pm
"Neither of us understand what Zoe's hair is meant to look like, so mama just stuck a picture of a punk with rainbow-coloured plaits in the book.

Shame Leon didn't turn out to be very exciting. Still, cities are overrated!"
by Keith

Comment Added: Sunday 25th May 2008 - 11:25pm
"PS. She also thinks you should become a journalist or travel writer as you seem to be managing quite a few words this trip!"
by Keith

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