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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Leon!! What am I doing in Leon you ask?

O.k. to catch you all up...

After the first couple of gruelling weeks, Janet couldn't take the pain and suffering. She walked over 40 miles and through the mountain pass, Alto del Perdon (the Hill of Forgiveness), and then went home.

I have continued and since that gruelling day on Saturday, where I walked 34.6 kms to Fromista, I was so pooped on Sunday that I decided to take the train to Leon. (I jumped ahead a bit) It was either go to Leon and take a break or go home. So Leon it was. I took a break for two days. It's a wonderful city, smaller, population of about 130,000. The church(s) were great. This is the inside of the 13th century Gothic Cathederal, Pulchra Leonina. There are lots of historical monuments here.

After walking around a bit, taking it easy, I decided today to head off on the next leg... Stage 21. I walked from Leon to Villar de Mazarife. 13.8 miles! O.k. not a long day, but still 13 almost 14 miles...

It must have been the right thing to do today because on my way I was 8.5kms out, in the village of La Virgen Del Camino, and I met a NUN! I was near the church San Froilan, when a nun met me on the street and told me I should see the basilica, go see the basilica...Ok. I will. She wished me a safe journey, told me it was great I was doing the Camino, and she gave me a hug and a kiss!! (I'm thinking I got a blessing out of it or something... I felt pretty good after that little exchange)

Later in the day I met a French lad, Francois... a young guy working on his Phd in Antropology. He was studying "The Camino". He had walked it a number of times already. Also met a Swedish girl, Amanda, a South African, John, and my two bunk mates here in Mazarife are a couple of Italian women. So far I've met people from almost every country... except China. I met a Korean girl walking the Camino in "reverse" (from Santiago to Roncesvalles)... she was helpful because I was lost that day! I was on a trail but it wasn't the "main" trail... I could see Burgos in the distance so I wasn't in danger... I just didn't want to have to walk any farther than I needed too. I've met Slovanian women, Belgiums, Germans, English, Ireland, Indians, Austrailians, Sri Lankans, more South Africans, Mexicans... John from New Jersey, Mary Ellen from Seattle, Katherine from Michigan.... and many others I can't remember right now.

Well that's it for now. Must check my socks to see if they are dry yet! My socks, next to my fleece, are my most prized posession out here. Later...

Buen Camino!

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  1. So good to catch up with you. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous, although I'm sure if the piggies are aching then it can lose its charm quickly. Thanks for taking the time to post them. Keep at it MJ! Take as many taxi hops as you need, but keep heading on. There might be another nun waiting ahead. If Justin could ride across California in 5th grade, I know you can walk across Spain! Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  2. Hey MJ. You are my HERO! You are amazing to be walking this incredible path. Un camino MUY grande!! Good luck out there. Sorry I haven't written lately. Will be better I hope. Take care of yourself on your adventure MJ. I'm with Beth on the taxi rides and breaks. We miss you!

  3. Let's see . . . quit or take a train? You made the right decision! What an experience for you. Rest when you need to even if for a few days. This is a journey, not a race. Dewey will survive! Lots of love to you, Bonnie

  4. Hey you! It's great to get your updates and see your pics... miss you, esp on Thursdays :(

  5. MJ you are my hero.. Your pictures are spectacular. I am sorry to hear that Janet was not well enough to finish the trip. Let me know if you want me to put Dewey on a plane to meet you... I can not wait for your next update and more pictures... Keep on truckin MJ

  6. My name is Katherine, and I am emailing you with a couple questions regarding the Camino de Santiago. I am writing an article on the Camino for my school newspaper, and I am also doing the Camino de Santiago this summer. As well as information for this article, I am also doing this for information for me. Anyway, I would really appreciate your help and input!! Thanks!!

    How do you recommend someone trains for this?

    How heavy should your backpack be?

    What type of footwear do you recommend?

    What are the most important things to pack?

    Do you recommend hiking poles?

    What did you find to be the hardest part in hiking the Camino?

    What should people know about this particular trip?

    Any stories/comments/etc. you have would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thank you so much for your help!



    1. Hello, send me your email and I'd be happy to give you some info.
      Regards, MJ