Day 17 // Leon – Villar de Mazarife // 21.9 km

Huge beds and good hotels are overrated. I had nightmares all night. But breakfast fixed it all. So many options and so much food to "steal" and take with me. 

The Spanish people must be a singing nation as well. As I leave the city, there is a man walking in front of me and humming a song. I catch up with him at the intersection and he asks me if I’m going to Santiago. I said yes and he said Buen Camino. I’m pretty good at Spanish that I can understand and reply to someone. That’s nice! 

It is a calm city morning. The cafe’s are getting ready for a new day. A man is cleaning the main street up to the cathedral. These mornings give me sort of an inner peace. There are not a lot of people on the streets. And I leave the city at peace, which is nice, since it is going to be completely opposite of it later today.

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Today I choose an alternative route. Oftentimes there are multiple options. The main path is taking you right by the highway, the alternative one - through country fields. I much rather enjoy a walk through a meadow in the middle of nowhere, instead of the noise that the highway makes.

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And tomorrow night these routes will meet again in the town Astorga. I choose to walk the green path. 

Today has been pretty good in terms of hiking and the first break I take only when I reach the 18th kilometer. The last 500 meters until the bench were pretty tough though, because my feet were creaming for a quick massage and a change of socks and shoes. 

As I sat on the bench, I spoke to two mothers from the UK. We can hear some horns. But not as if you were sitting in traffic and beeped only once, but like non-stop! It turns out it was a car that transports bread. And even after 10 minutes we still hear it. And later at the auberge we see another car like that. I don’t think anyone here is deaf.

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Today was a pretty easy day as well and I reach the auberge already at 12.30 PM.

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I did some calculations yesterday and to reach my destination on time, I would have to walk approximately 28 kilometers per day. Today I hiked less kilometers because the next auberge is only in 15 kilometers, which would be too much for one day, considering I only left the hotel at 8 AM. I have a feeling like I haven’t done enough today. The rest of the day is free. But later as I got outside I thought it’s good that I have this time off. I could send you like 10 degrees of summer.

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When I left the auberge at 4 PM to take a little walk around the village, I felt the heat. Not a bit of wind and no people outside on the streets.

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All of the houses have got their windows closed. Hiding from the sun. As I walk further I hear people. It’s a bar. Now I know where everyone is.

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I buy my refreshing everyday Coca-Cola and get into people-watching. I guess all the men that live in this village are here. About 5 tables are playing cards and dominoes. And they’re so passionate about the way they play. I wonder what are the village ladies doing right now. Cooking dinner? 

I started thinking whether this bar was just for men, because of the wifi password, haha!

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Of course, the store was closed at this time as well. It will be open from 6 to 7, that’s when I’ll come back. 

I’m enjoying the peacefulness, the relaxing, and having nothing to do. I do not miss the business of Riga. Not yet. 

For inspiration:

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Stay calm!

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