DAY 10 June 4 2015 Leon to Villar de Mazarife ( 24 km)

Another hot day on the Meseta. The temperature was only 30 C but it was muggy and the heat felt smothering at times. Other than a dirty, noisy trek to reach the outskirts of Leon we had a good walk. There were two routes and we did take the one less travelled which was a good choice this time. The path still skirted dry land farming areas (for some reason there is very little irrigation here) but there were gentle hills and more trees and bushes. About 8 km from our destination we came upon a pilgrim under a tree—she appeared to be resting but something just did not seem right. Asking a few more questions, Delana realized the woman was suffering from heat stroke. We gave her half of our water and found her partners who had gone on ahead. It turns out they are 4 retired nurses from Germany! Somehow they were all ill prepared for the heat of the Meseta and thought their friend was just tired and weak from pain medication she had taken in the morning. It is interesting how we can lose our perspective when we are in a different situation. Just before entering Villar de Mazarife, we saw a large flock of sheep being herded by several dogs and a shepherd astride a donkey ( our friend, Martin, we are certain😊). The shepherd was holding an umbrella ! We were prepared for our accommodation tonight to be ” rural” as it is the only hotel in town. It is but it is just fine—our bathroom even has a mini tub. As if we had not had enough excitement today, no sooner had Delana said. “It is a miracle that our luggage always arrives”, that we discovered Delana’s had but Rod’s suitcase had not. Mmm…… After numerous phone calls in various languages and a thorough search of the hotel, the luggage appeared in the room next door. It is very nice to have a happy ending to this story!! Tomorrow we are on to Astorga and the end of the Meseta. It is our longest walk (29km) so we will be starting earlier to avoid the heat. Because this is a long, hard walk we have a rest day in Astorga following it😊

The  cloister of the former monastery in Leon. Now one of the most beautiful of the Parador chain of hotels - all former monasteries
The cloister of the former monastery in Leon. Now one of the most beautiful of the Parador chain of hotels – all former monasteries.
Looking almost like a western movie prop, here the facade of an ancient church has been restored and kept with a new building behind.
Looking almost like a western movie prop, here the facade of an ancient church has been restored and kept with a new building behind. Note the stork community once again!
We are leaving the flat land grain area known as the Mesatta, suddenly in hilly deciduous forests, even oak trees!
We are leaving the flat land grain area known as the Mesatta, suddenly in hilly deciduous forests, even oak trees!
The Camino is celebrated in so many ways by almost every small community along the way.
The Camino is celebrated in so many ways by almost every small community along the way, like this picnic area beside the trail.
been waiting to post this one: - a Camino Classic. Just before the town of Mazarife.  This shepherd, along with
been waiting to post this one: – a Camino Classic. Just before the town of Mazarife. This shepherd, along with “Martin” our old friend and his three sheep herding dogs were tending a large flock of up to two hundred sheep. Love the umbrella!
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