Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Slugging it out in Spain

 Day 55 - Leon

      Debriefing an incident from last night brought some excitement to our morning.  As we were crawling into our beds in the loft room with 6 others, we heard the screaming voice of the feisty young matron on the floor below us. It sounded like she was berating some pilgrim guests.  Since it was in Spanish, we weren’t sure what was going on.  We assumed someone had stolen something or disobeyed one of her house rules. There was a lot of yelling, but you could only hear her yelling in anger. The commotion carried on for about half an hour as it seemed to move to the lobby entrance. In the morning, we talked to couple who were in the room and witnessed it all.  Evidently, a group of four German guests were upset about their dinner service. One of the German men and the matron got into a shouting match.  Then the kitchen server, who was the matron’s brother got in a slugging match with the man and ended up breaking his nose.  The police and ambulance were called and they took the man and his girlfriend to the medical facility.  When the German was released in the middle of the night, they just started walking the Camino rather than go back to the albergue . You don’t mess with the albergue matrons on the Camino.

    It was a 15 mile walk to the city of Leon. The sunrise was spectacular and the weather was pleasant.  There was no breakfast in the town we slept in, so we had to walk 5 miles before we got our morning coffee, along with some great ham on toast with fresh tomato salsa. An interesting custom in France and Spain is the use of china dishes.  It doesn’t matter what kind of a fast food bar or even stand that you buy food from, you are always served with china and silverware.  Coffee is always in a cup with saucer spoon and sugar packet.  Every piece of bread has its own plate.  There is nothing disposable.

    As we approached the city, we passed through several small towns, many with adobe walled buildings, which we have not seen yet on our journey.  We arrived exhausted into Leon, and with a little bit of phone and texting work, we were able to find our studio apartment in the heart of the vibrant city. We are staying two nights and will enjoy our third rest day of the journey.  We even have a wash machine and can do some serious laundry.

     In the evening we met a journalist from Washington DC who just got here and is going to start her walk tomorrow.  We sounded like seasoned veterans as she pumped us with questions.  We also met with long Camino friends, Duane and Carina again.  The five of us had pizza in one of the many crowded plazas in the city.

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