Waking early the next morning - we were approached by two peregrinas (lady pilgrims) who engaged us in a discussion about sharing a taxi with them from our albergue to the City of Leon. It seems the taxi fare was about €100 - the one lady needed to definitely take the taxi but could not afford the fare on her own - with four of us - only €25 each. My birthday was the next day - I had mentioned to Arlene that I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a larger city so we said yes - it eliminated two days of walking through a flat boring area - ended up in Leon after a two hour ride. In Lent - even when we give up certain things - celebrating birthdays - special occasions - need to continue.
Waiting for the taxi
Entering Leon - the taxi dropped us off in a central business district - the first thing we noticed was another public restroom similar to the one in Burgos. Since we were going to stay two or three days - we set off looking for a regular hostel since the pilgrim hostels did not allow you to stay multiple days in a row. It was more expensive - private room with private toilet and shower and hot water - worth the price. As simple as we try to keep things during Lent - basic needs should not be ignored - not necessary to make Lent unbearable - Satan will see to that.
W/C - Public Toilet
Since we had a secure private room in the hostel we could divest ourselves of our back packs - free to roam around Leon to see the local Cathedral and look for a suitable place for my birthday celebration. Since Leon is a major city on the Camino - pilgrim menu - available for dinner - very reasonable dinner price €9 each including a full bottle of wine per person. Cheers!
We had plenty of time to tour the cathedral a few times as well as the immediate area. Lots of enjoyable sightseeing - places to sit - pray - reflect.
Our first day in Leon we saw a couple heading to celebrate their wedding - from what we have witnessed - wedding parties tend to be primarily immediate family and friends - not the large gatherings we see in the States
Groom & Bride - Just Married - Congratulations
Arlene in her hiking skirt
The plazas were people only plazas - no cars allowed - large areas
for people to browse - mingle - socialize
Public Mime Not a Ghost
This is something that we have seen in many countries - people dress themselves
as characters - stand in the public squares - like statues - collecting donations
In Lent we try to remove our masks - reveal who we really are
Interesting apartment building - looks like a pleasant place
to watch the world walk by your window
My beautiful Camino buddy - vino tinto y vino blanco y tapas
Another day coming to an end late mid-day too early for dinner we stop for wine and snacks - a fruitful day - we helped a lady get to Leon when she couldn't afford the taxi fare - we jumped ahead two days - found a place to stay and prepare for my birthday tomorrow. As I have mentioned - in Lent - on our journey - we need to be prepared for various opportunities that may present themselves to us - being willing to make modifications on our journey - open to whatever God may send our way.