Written: May 24, 2012 @ 20:21
We are now in the town of Hospital de Obrigo outside Leon. We got here partly by train this morning at the advice of the nice German hotellier we ran into yesterday. We pushed along to Sahagun last night, as I mentioned in the last post, and caught an 08:45 train this morning. We flew along at around 105 mph and got to Leon lickety-split. That’s a speed by train that we’re just not used to in the U.S. We skipped past a whole long stretch of the Camino through the industrial area outside Leon.
That was doubly good as I awoke this morning feeling like crap! I seem to have picked up a cold bug from some other peregrino; perhaps the German woman we sat next two a couple nights ago who admitted to having been sick. I keep overdosing on the Airborne and the vitamin-C we paid a premium for today to see if I can get over this. It’s amazing that a little chewable vitamin-C from a farmacia here in Spain cost over twice as much as the 600 mg ibuprofen that we can’t even get without a prescription in the U.S. Weird!
We hopped off the train in Leon and visited the cathedral and several other sights in the ancient city. It really was remarkable with many amazing stories. We toyed with the idea of staying at a parador that has been built from the former housing for the Order of Saint James, a medieval group of knights. It would have set us back 13 Euros for a simple room with two beds or twice that for a junior suite. Money is only money, but that was just a tad too much.
As an alternative, we hopped on another bus to breeze through the industrial area on the other end of Leon – not at 160 kmh. We hopped ahead again, and have now met a completely different group of pilgrims in this pueblo. We were not the only peregrinos de autobus today, and we followed a couple of compatriots to a local albergue. We’re sleeping in a room tonight with around 20 others, and we’ve already been warned by the Canadian women below us that we’ll need the earplugs. Ah well, just all part of the experience. This place is only setting us back 20 Euros with lodging and breakfast. We made our own dinner with a salad put together from a local market and some mac ‘n cheese that’s been weighing down my pack since day 1. It was fabulous, but some of our bunkmates made us a little jealous when they trotted out the local fare and started frying up garlic and onions in butter.
We have another polyglot mix of pilgrims tonight with Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, England, and the U.S. all represented in the sampling we’ve met around dinner. Kat and I are sitting outside now, catching up on emails and other matters. I’m hoping to completely kick this starter cold and hit the trail early tomorrow. I think we will be peregrinos of the trail from here on out as there are not likely to be any more areas where we are likely to want to skip over. We’re a little over halfway through Spain now and a little ahead of schedule. That will give us a little cushion in case we end up doing a couple lighter days for one reason or another.
That puts me in mind of something I need to work on in the next few days. I tend to live all my life by the seat of my pants. The work, plan, is almost not in my vocabulary. Every job I’ve had, I’ve pretty much just fallen into. Come to think of it, just about every other thing I’ve ever done, I’ve kind of fallen into as well. Walking along the Camino de Santiago like this has all been seat of the pants with no real planning other than when we got started and when we have to fly out of Santiago at the end. There is something all together tranquilo about this state of being – moving from place to place along a set path with the time to stop and enjoy whatever it is we may encounter to stop and enjoy.
I wonder how I can work toward a balance of planning and spontaneity in all aspects of my life. What areas need deliberation, and once deliberated upon, can I see my way clear to walk along the path and enjoy each circumstance I encounter? My settling for spontaneity, always spontaneity, seems to keep me always chasing after the next critical thing. Often though, I get to the next critical thing, and discover that it wasn’t quite so critical after all. It seems I need to learn to take a deep breath or two first and see if there is a way, a camino, that is most appropriate for me to follow.
Ah well, some thoughts for the way tomorrow.