21 Executive Decision

Last night was really a nice evening. Somehow I was cornered into brining my ukulele out for a sing song before dinner. I ran upstairs and grabbed my uke and my iPad…the electronic thingy with all the words and music a group could care to sing.

Peter and Laura from Oakville jumped in a really made an efforts while Earl, Bob, Steph and several of the German guys tried to help. We sang about 4 tunes and it was time for dinner. The crowd grew as we sang….actually it was only a dog who was attracted. He walked by and started barking….critic.

After singing we really needed to go inside and start dinner…or we would be in danger of being told it was over.

When retired from the day’s activities my ailments were feeling much better. Full disclosure, no red wine for dinner….can’t stand That Pilgrim wine.

I know the time was 1:30am when I work up with a serious pain in my back. Get up and take an ibuprophen. This is all I had in terms of pharmacology, but at least it was something.

When I woke up at 5:30am it was obvious I wasn’t going to be putting a 28lb pack on my back and walking across a scorched path without shade for another day. I decided on the following:

1) With the available days I have 13 walking days before my flight. I need to skip some stages obviously. Walking into, and out of León is tortuous according to everyone who does this. Many, many pilgrims take a bus to avoid these doldrums.

2) My thoughts are to go directly to Astorga.

3) Get a muscle relaxant for my back as soon as possible.

So Astorga I did go…….

….But on the way, during a stopover in Sahagun I met up with Earl, Steph, Polly, Laura, Michelle, Mark, Marion, Robin and Lynn. I had to tell them I was skipping ahead and this way our final goodbye. Sad, but part of the journey.

While I was waiting for my bus in León I saw a woman looking very distressed. She was obviously a Pilgrim, but something wasn’t right. She was walking around trying to understand the Spanish signs. She would stop in front of one, try to read it, then move onto the next. After watching this for about 15 minutes she walked in front of me and I said “is everything OK pelegrina.”

Apparently she had gotten off a bus and had taken the wrong pack. The bus she had been on continued to León, so she came here to try and find her pack. She discovered the pack was in Léon, she could see it…..but the necessary officials were not available to release the bag until 4pm because of siesta. We decided to have a bit to eat, and at 4 sharp she was able to get her bag. Once she had the bag she called her husband and gave him the good news.

Basically I think she just needed a sympathetic ear while she sorted this mess out.

Finally I boarded my bus for Astorga at 4:30pm and headed out of León.

This is an interesting town, and it is known as the chocolate capital of Spain. Way before that title was created this was a crossroads for the Romans. There is a museum and excavated ruins to be found…although I was too late for the museum.

You will also notice a Guadi building here in town. This structure was designed and built for a Bishop, and is pre-full fantasy Guadi. A bit conventional, but with a couple of little wrinkles.

Sorry, today’s post is very short…..My back is demanding I go to sleep and try to recover….I will be more verbose tomorrow.

I have a 24km walk up to Rabanal Del Camino.