Hola from Santibanez de Valdeiglesia – Donna

Published on Behalf of Donna Blackstock – Donna is walking the Camino Frances – a 5 weeks and 800 km journey that attracts over 250,000 participants.



I am now in Santibanez de Valdeiglesia and like so many of these small towns you find the albergue by heading for the church. I am still taking antibiotics but the swelling is dramatically improved. The pinky toe on my right foot is still “in recovery” mode. Picture below is the entrance to the foot doctor’s office!

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On Friday I walked to Puente Villarente and Albergue San Pelayo. The distance was just over 25k and while the trails are very dusty, the going has been quite flat. San Pelayo was a great choice! There were multiple rooms of single beds, very modern bathrooms, a huge lobby like a hotel and a large courtyard. At the evening meal, I caught up with an Aussie friend and while everyone else was from Holland, Belgium and Spain, the conversation that held everyone together was English. There were some well-travelled walkers in this group who had many stories to tell.

The next morning I decided to save a bit of wear on the right foot so I went to the local bus stop, which I found less than 2 blocks from the albergue the day before. So at 9:30 I climbed on a bus (with other pilgrims from further up the road) and for 1.60e I was in Leon about 12k away in 20 minutes. The advantage of being up high in the bus allowed me to see into the local bull ring and a major soccer stadium.

I really enjoyed my short walkabout in Leon. The walk from the bus depot to Santa Maria cathedral was about 20 minutes and because it was Saturday there was a large public market in front of the cathedral to experience. Bonus!

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Later I walked on to Valverde to albergue La Casa. The owners were very gracious and very proud of the work they had done to make their outer courtyard welcoming and your first drink was free! They had 3 young cats who kept everyone entertained constantly and willingly came to visit if you even looked at them. And……..one of the cats is named Donna!

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The dinner menu last night was a plate of spaghetti as the starter, and then chicken and salad and yogurt for dessert. At this albergue, there were not choices for the meal unless you were vegetarian. Then there is always vino tinto and bread. The evening meal has been a feast.

There was quite a bit of cloud today and about 20 degrees. The forecast is still dry and warmer than today. Not tomorrow, but I have some big climbs ahead of me in the coming week.



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