Day 1 … Sunday, 2nd August 2015
Started walking at 6.15am still dark and chilly 9℃. Lots of signs to guide pilgrims out of the city.
Sunrise about 7.30am.
No longer cold, removed my jacket and rested for a few minutes with a drink and adjusted my backpack. Continued on my way but realised after 10 minutes that I left my hiking pole on the bench. Upset with such a clumsy start, I had to retrace my steps hola-ing to other pilgrims who kindly told me I was walking in the wrong direction.
Back on track for an hour or so, I hit a fork without any more signs. Decided to try one path and felt it was not right.
Solo pilgrim survival tip : If you’re unsure, wait for other pilgrims at the last visible sign. Someone will definitely come along and you’ll have company wondering which path to take. If still unsure, wait for more people to come along and have a consensus but expect everyone to be just as lost.
Waiting at this underpass that must have altered the original Camino route somewhat, a small group formed trying to figure out the clues written on the concrete. At this point, we were split between the shorter highway or the longer farm route.
I chose the farm way together with a German couple who started from their home and walked towards Santiago every year for the past 6 years. This is their last leg.
Several other people caught up with me but weren’t very chatty except another German who also walked from his home using a ladder. What?
Alright no circus act. He converted a step ladder into a cart which he pulls with him all the way.
We chatted for awhile and about 5km from my destination, I decided to walk on my own again. The sun was coming on strong and I just want to hurry off.
Arrived at Villar de Mazarife, 22km from Leon at 11.30am. Could push for more but this being my first day, its better to let the body adjust to the walk.
Checked into Tio Pepe albergue at €9 per night bunk bed style.
Walked around the village, met nice American pilgrims and had lunch together. €8 for a large salad and 2 cokes.
Doing pretty well on dough and diet. Didn’t mention breakfast coz I didn’t have any, just a golden apple along the way.
Temperature is now 27℃ and glaring with high UV. Glad I’m indoors. Will just siesta till dinnertime.
Tomorrow is another day.