Camino de Santiago | Day 21

Leon – San Martin del Camino

15.39 | 315.64 miles

+ | – feet

I didn’t carry hope in my pocket today because I was carrying my room key from last night. I was about two miles along when I realized it. I called the hotel; luckily, they had a duplicate, so I did not need to taxi back. Hopefully, I will get it in the mail by tomorrow.

I had a late start because I was out later last night in Leon and was trying to manage the online transfer form from the Spanish post office. Although the form knew I was using a US phone number, it still did not accept the format. I used the hotel’s phone number hoping that would work (reception didn’t open until 8:00). Because I was explaining that I needed to leave my bag until tomorrow because the post office wasn’t open, I forgot to leave my key. Worst case scenario the post office doesn’t pick it up and I need a taxi back to Leon to take care of it. I’m sending it all the way to Santiago. Here’s hoping that when I check the tracking information tomorrow, it’s on its way.

Walking in the midst of a large highway interchange to a tunnel that would lead underneath.

Fun fact: you can identify the peregrinos because our left arm and back legs are tanned from always walking west. We’re in a hot spell, but at least the UV index is reasonably low. I’m usually done walking shortly after midday and will make a point of beginning by 7:00 the next few days. From all the sun and lack of shade, I have a pretty fantastic sock tan line.

I talked with my parents yesterday (which was very nice), and they asked if I was drinking bottled water. I am not. The water in Spain is perfectly safe to drink and just as delicious as at home.

I do not get my water from fountains like this.

We spent most of the day walking along the highway, so the little stretch in the woods was nice.

Tomorrow we’ll begin along the highway for a couple of miles before moving to something more scenic, as well as returning to the mountains.

I was working on my back some more last night and was hopeful this morning. But as soon as I put my pack on and began walking, the pain was back. The morning began began with an unscenic walk out of Leon, which was very poorly marked. Therefore, it was about five miles before I stopped. Of course, after my little break, I felt much better.

The Camino is forcing a lesson humility on me. I really have no choice but to submit and take more breaks as I continue and the accumulation of miles takes its toll. Normally, I want to plow through and get things done. But that’s not possible here. My new Camino spiritual discipline is submission to stopping every four to five miles to take my pack off for a while.

At seven miles, I didn’t really want a break, but I passed a pop-up cafe where three people I knew were taking a break. Maybe this is God’s way of making my submission more palatable. 😁

After a short rest, the four of us walked together to where they were staying. I continued as I had a few miles to go to the next town, but I did still stop for one more break to eat the sandwich I purchased at the pop up.

Buen Camino

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One Thought to “Camino de Santiago | Day 21”

  1. M

    So good to talk to you. I remember when you trained for the marathon you forced yourself to take breaks. This is a journey not a race❤️. Prayers for you and your luggage.

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