Madrid Camino Day 18 – Leon to San Martin del Camino

May 23, 2017

A hot and noisy 24 kms along the side of the highway to San Martin del Camino with nothing to see but factories, gas stations and derelict truck stops. I fear I spent a little too much energy quietly cursing the Camino Frances. Fortunately, I still have good company and Jean and I are finding plenty to talk about, so the time passes. But what a difference from the Madrid Camino, which was virtually all pathways and dirt tracks through wilderness and quiet farmland.

Getting used to the pavement on the Camino Frances

I am still stopping regularly to care for my feet and, though I have developed two tiny blisters in the back of my heels, they are not getting worse. After the first 100 meters of walking, they don’t bother me. 

There are so very many pilgrims on this route, it’s going to take a lot of getting used to. There is always someone in front and behind, and seemingly never more than 20 metres away. No real solitude – and very tricky to stop for a quick trailside pee!

Despite my intentions to stay in small hotels, I am in a privately run albergue tonight and it is much nicer than the municipal ones. There is a restaurant, a bar, segregated bathrooms, a lovely patio and many rooms with no more than 5 bunk beds in each. I hope there will be no more farting and snoring bunk mates. (I tried to persuade Jean that the farting and snoring wasn’t me, but I fear he remains unconvinced) There will be a three course communal dinner tonight for ten Euros and a buffet breakfast for two Euros more. 

It looks like it’ll be 25 km tomorrow to Astorga where, one way or another, I intend to find a hotel. I hope the trail will be nicer, because they are predicting sun and 30 degrees Celsius, and that’ll be a tough go on concrete.

Getting ever closer to Santiago

All in all, I am feeling very positive after two good sleeps and the day off in Leon. Onwards!