Final rest day
Yesterday we arrived in Leon, the biggest city we have been to so far. Today was our last rest day and it was very productive. We stocked up on some much needed supplies, toured the Cathedral of Leon, and most important of all, rested. After today we walk 13 straight days, several of which are around 20 miles, and we are heading into more mountainous terrain as we head closer to Santiago de Compestela. This last stretch of the Camino will be very challenging, especially after the relatively easy days we have had the past week, walking only around 12 miles a day through flat terrain. It has spoiled us, as we have arrived in our lodging in early afternoon, with time to eat, nap, and wash our clothes in time to have them dry by the morning.
The hotel we are currently in offers laundry service for €20. That is a little pricey compared to other places we have stayed, but we have never taken advantage of this service so we decided it was time to have our clothes actually washed. It was worth every penny. I have never been so excited to have freshly washed clothes. They smell so good! Too bad it won't last. Speaking of bad smells, I fantasize daily about buying new sneakers when I get to Santiago and ceremoniously tossing my current shoes. They smell the way my son's soccer cleats used to smell. And any mother of a soccer player knows what I'm talking about. It's not pretty.
The most common topic among our fellow pilgrims continues to be feet and food. Blisters are a huge problem, though my sister and I have yet to get one. If we make it all the way without getting any it might be history making! Food however is still very much a challenge. We have had some very good meals, and some very bad meals, and the Spaniards take great offense if you don't eat all of your food. It requires explanation, which is not easy given the language barrier. We will never understand why they eat dinner so late and apparently serving us a meal before 9:00 pm is done as a HUGE favor to pilgrims.
At any rate, we are mentally and physically ready for this last part of our challenge, with about 180 miles to go. We are nervous, excited, and ready to reach our final destination and then head to Paris.