I was the last to leave the hostal this morning. I debated sending my backpack ahead and walking or checking out the bus situation to Sagahun or Leon. I went down to the cafe and found a few ladies I knew having breakfast. We discussed the possibilities and considering the weather the bus was the preference vs. 27.6 km on the meseta.
Heading down to the bar at the entrance of town I went to the counter and fumbled my way through ordering my bus ticket. Here is how the conversation went:
Donna – Me gustaría comprar un billete de autobús por favor. (I would like to buy a bus ticket please)
Lady – You want a bus ticket?”
Donna – Yes please, one ticket to Sagahun
Lady – ¿Quieres ir a Sagahun? (You want to go to Sagahun?)
Donna – Si, gracias. ¿¡Cuanto es lo justo!? (yes thank you, how much is the fare?)
Lady – no ticket to Sagahun only Leon!
Donna – How much?
Lady – Catorce euros (14 euros)
Donna – Compraré el boleto a León (I will buy the ticket to Leon)
Lady – You want a ticket to Leon?
Donna – Yes, please
The lady kept switching back and forth between English and Spanish and repeating the destination I just requested. I was disappointed that I couldn’t go to Sagahun but happy to be sitting with a ticket. Then, two ladies from Panama came in after me and ordered 2 tickets to Sagahun and got them. Sitting there with disbelief but a ticket to Leon in my hand, I decided that the journey not the destination was the lesson. Look out Leon, I’m coming!
The bus was late which is no surprise. The bar/cafe makes a load of money on pain au chocolat, churros and hot chocolate and cafe con leche in the morning and I can only guess the amount of beer and wine in the afternoon. The bus ride was uneventful and I made it Leon in less than 2 hours. When I got off the bus I naturally fell into a group with Marie from Sweden and Jeannette from Holland. It was raining and we had a bit of a walk from the bus station to the albergue. Around and around the town we went looking for the convent and when you are tired and hungry, it can be interesting. Up and down cobblestones streets we go and pass the Leon cathedral which is beautiful. Usually there are signs for albergues, but not this time. There is a film company set up outside the cathedral which spoils the atmosphere. We finally find the convent, check in to find we have top bunks with no ladders!! Gymnastics to follow!
Shower and a change of clothes, we head out for a bite to eat. Marie wants pasta and we are good with that however we also want a drink. We find this place that has interesting appetizers and makes their own chorizo! Marie ordered roasted red peppers with Manchego cheese and anchovies, Jeannette ordered an egg, cheese and meat omelette and I ordered pulpo (octopus). The starter plates were huge and delicious! Needless to say, we didn’t go out for pasta.
Next it was over to the cathedral for some pics. I was fairly tired and decided to head back to the hostal. I got lost along the way and found it frustrating. The tourist office was closed due to siesta. I could embrace siesta but it is inconvenient for many.
I found my way back by walking into a bar and the men were very helpful. Back on track, I was home in 10 minutes. At 15 minutes to 7:00 pm, a bell rang and we were invited to evening vespers and a pilgrim blessing. Jeannette and I went and it was beautiful. The nuns were singing beautifully and the church itself was lovely with a domed ceiling and gold altar piece. After vespers, all the pilgrims stood up and went before the priest for a blessing. It was beautiful. I cried because I needed strength for tomorrow and the rest of this walk.
Back to the bunk, I practiced a couple of times getting up and down. It was hilarious and I am hoping I can avoid having to get up in the middle of the night. Imagine me doing the Fosbury Flop up from a chair next to the bed. Not pretty, but effective.
Marie helped me buy silicone ear plugs and I will use this new technology tonight.
10:15 pm lights out, silicone ear plugs in and I’m snug in my sleeping bag liner. The symphony of snoring begins and the light from outside is shining in my eyes. I try not to move so as not to disturb the lady in the bottom bunk. I pull the liner over my head to avoid the light from outside and the moving blue glow from the cellular phones. I’m just about ready to fall asleep at midnight and guess what? I have to pee! Argh!