Spent yesterday in the city of Leon--the biggest city I´ve been to so far. Even in the big city, my timing is off with all of Spain. Shops are closed when I wake at 6 am. Usually start walking around 7 am. Nothing is open at this time. Sometimes I must walk to the next village before I can get a coffee and breakfast. Spain is not the place for impatience and the instant-gratification crowd. Learning to go with this flow. We pilgrims usally walk about 25 km per day, arriving to our destination just in time for siesta (shops closed from 2 to 5 pm). At this point we are usually desperate for shower, food, and washing clothes. But, we must wait until shops open up again before we can eat. Go with the flow...
The last several days were spent walking in flip flops due to foot complications. I was able to buy some sandals in Leon, but they are really one step above a flip flop. I ingenuously put my boot insoles in the bottome of the sandal to make them more sturdy, but the insoles slowely work their way out the back of the sandal with time, so I am constantly stopping to readjust. Tonight, I will try an old Anthony King solution: duck tape (I have a small amout wrapped around a pencil for emergency gear repair).
Now that I´m in Mazarife, I am happy to be here. I was reunited with old Camino friends; Juliano and Hannes. It wasn´t clear that I would continue on to Mazarife since there was an alternate route to another village. When I arrived at the crossroad today, I wondered for a minute which route I would take. The alternate route is actually the real Camino Frances; although, it runs along the highway. As I stood there, my friend Zsolt waited for me to decide. Finally, I decided to follow him and enjoy some company for the day. Too many days alone before Leon. I´m glad I did even though we argue like me and my real brother do. We meet people for a reason. We did enjoy lunch together in the shade and a nap. I left before and arrived one hour earlier than he did...happy to miss the high noon sun.
Tonight, the host is cooking us a dinner and all the pilgrims will dine together. I love it when we all sit down and share a meal together at a communal table. There are so many languages flying around, but we always manage to laugh together even if we don´t understand one another completely.